Criteria for Evaluating Sources
Here are a few criteria that you could consider in order to determine whether or not an article, book, or website is of a quality worthy of inclusion in your research assignment (e.g., paper, presentation, etc.). Considering a combination of these criteria will help you determine the quality of the source.
- Is an author or creator identified?
- Are the author's formal credentials or relevant experience provided?
- Is this a subject area that the author has published about previously?
- If the source is a website, is the creator/sponsor/publisher reputable?
- Does the resource provide additional references (e.g. citations, footnotes, links, etc.) that support arguments presented?
- Does the resource provide documentation or evidence for the information provided (e.g. citations, footnotes, links, etc.)?
- Does the resource provide information that contradicts other sources?
- If the resource was not published recently, are the ideas presented consistent with contemporary arguments in the field?
- If not, is it still valuable to your research?
- Does the information add to or support your research?
- Does the resource provide additional references (e.g. citations, footnotes, links, etc.) that are also useful to your research?
- Does the resource provide enough information to be useful to your research?
- Is overall content level of the resource appropriate to your needs?