College of the Atlantic - Thorndike Library

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Getting Started on Your Research

Evaluating Resources

Whether using books, journals, websites, or other resources, it is important to evaluate the information you are using.  Consider the following:

Authority/Source

Where are you getting your information?
Is the source scholarly or not?
Are the authors identified?
What are the author's credentials?

Coverage

Is your source a detailed report or a summary?
Is it primary or secondary material?

Objectivity

Do the authors have a bias?
Is the article produced by an organization with an agenda?
Is the report from a company benefiting from the information provided?
Are opposing views presented?

Accuracy

Is there a bibliography or works cited?
Are sources cited?

Currency

What time period is covered by the information?
Does this matter for your research?