How can information be evaluated? As a class we will develop and refine our own list. Some suggestions by others follow.
What are the author's credentials and background?
Is the date of publication appropriate for your topic? Do you need current or historical information?
Who is responsible for issuing the source? Is it a well-known trade publisher, a university press, an organization, an individual?
What is the focus of the source? Does it report original work, synthesize research done by others, provide an introduction to a topic, give comprehensive information? Is it intended for a general audience or for specialists?
Is the information fact or opinion? Is the author objective? Is the information presented in a balanced manner?
Are the ideas clearly presented? Is the source well organized? Is the information valid, well-researched, and documented?
Who is the author? Are his or her credentials stated?
Who is the sponsor of the site? Is there an organization affiliated with the site or its author? Can you find out more about their purposes and intent? [Hints: examine the URL - is it .org? .com? .edu?; go up a few levels to learn more about the host organization.]
What is the scope of this resource?
Who is the intended audience?
To what extent is the material meant to persuade? Is this clearly stated?
Is the page an advertisement or some other kind of promotional material?
Are the sources for factual information in the material clearly identified? Can you verify them?
Is any bias present?
Is the material free of error (typos, spelling, grammar, etc.)?
How current is the information? When was the site last updated?
Information Literacy Tutorial, Five Colleges of Ohio, 2000
Sample Evaluation Criteria for Web Sites, Bowling Green State University Library, 2011
• Author’s credentials
• Publisher’s credentials/reputation
• Use of bibliographies, foot/end-notes
• Evidence to back up assertions?
• Clear & logical arguments?
• Are all contributing factors considered?
• Are all/most ramifications considered?
Incorporating Information Literacy into Oberlin’s First Year Seminars,
Oberlin College Library, May 2002
California State University Chico, Applying the CRAAP Test, 2010 (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose)
University of California Berkeley Library, Evaluating Resources, 2016
Utica College Library, What can the URL tell you? 2015
Harvard College, Guide to Using Sources, 2016