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As you begin to look at the resources that you’ve located, begin to take a close look at your information to make sure that it is credible, reliable and useful.
As yourself the following questions:
- Is it relevant to your topic?
- Is the date of publication appropriate?
- Is the author qualified?
- What is the author’s education background and experience?
- What is the author’s purpose for writing the book or article?
- To inform? To persuade? To sell? To advocate?
- How was the information obtained?
- Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
- Are there references or footnotes?
- Is the work primary or is it secondary?
- Who is the publisher for the work?
- Is the work popular or scholarly?
- Currency – the timeliness of the information – what was the last update of the web page?
- Has the theory been disproved since publication?
- Certain topics will change significantly in a short period of time, and you want to make sure that your information is current and informed.
- That’s not to say that older resources are not acceptable or relevant.
- Relevance – does the information meet your needs?
- Authority – can you trust the source? Who is the author or publisher? And their credentials
- Accuracy - is the information truthful, reliable and correct? Are there footnotes, a bibliography?
- Purpose - what is the information there for? To inform? Entertain? Sell you something?