How to identify valuable sources for your research? Evaluate each source for...
- Can you verify the information presented using other sources like encyclopedia articles, government documents, statistical data, or primary sources?
- Are other researchers citing this source?
- Who is the intended audience (scholars, the general population, a specific group) ?
- How do your research needs compare with those of the intended audience?
- Who is responsible for the presentation of this information? (publisher, funding agency, etc.)
- What are the author's credentials? (education, institutional affiliation, previous research, honors, etc.)
- Is the publication from a reliable publisher? What is the domain?
- What sources did the author use in preparing this presentation?
- What is the scope of the research presented?
- Does the author offer evidence, in the form of primary and secondary sources, to support his/her assertions?
- Is the information over-simplified and emotionally charged or logically investigated?
- What is the author's intent? To inform, persuade, sell, entertain?
- How is this source positioned within the current conversation surrounding your topic?
- How does this source build upon previous scholarship?
- How deeply does the author explore the subject matter?
- Does the author meet the goals defined in the abstract or introduction?
- What will this particular source add to your research?
- Does the source inform your argument, or answer questions posed by your topic.
- How does this source work with the other resources you will be using?