What Type of Information is This?
Using Primary Sources on the Web explains the what a primary source is and discusses ways to find primary resource material on the web. (link to the American Library Association)
Distinguishing Between Popular and Scholarly Sources describes the difference between a popular magazine and a scholarly journal.
Evaluate the Information You Find
- What is the purpose of the information?
- Is the information reliable?
- Are there obvious errors?
- Who wrote the content?
- Is an author's name listed?
- What is the author's credentials?
- Can you contact the author?
- Who is publishing or hosting the content?
- Is the content objective or subjective?
- Is the content biased or unbiased?
- How detailed is the information?
- What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?
- Is the content designed to persuade you to change your mind on a topic?
- Does the content include paid advertising?
- When was the information published?
- When was it last updated?
- If it's a web site, are the links up-to-date?
- What topics are covered in the content?
- Does the content offer additional insight that could not be found elsewhere?
- Is the content discussed in-depth or only at a high-level?
- Does the author provide citations?
Based on the chart in Kapoun, J. (1998). Teaching undergrads web evaluation: A guide for library instruction. College & Research Libraries News, 59(7), 522-523 and concepts in Beck, S. (1997) Evaluation Criteria. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It’s a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources. Retrieved on March 1, 2005 from http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html
Use these tutorials to improve your evaluation skills: