Skip to Main Content

Library Science: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

When you conduct research, you will need to think critically about the sources you are using.

On this page, you will find:

  • A tutorial video explaining the different types of publication (left column)
  • Questions to ask yourself when you are considering the use of a particular resource (right column)

Use the following 5 questions when evaluating the information provided
by a Web page to determine its credibility:

1. Who Created the Web Page?

  • Is the author/creator identified?

  • What are their qualifications?

  • Have you heard of them?

  • Do they provide contact information?

  • Does the website indicate a source of funding?

2. When Did They Create it?

  • Does the page tell you when it was created?

  • Is it updated? How often?

  • Does it need to be updated?

3. Why Did They Create it?

  • What purpose does this Web page serve?

  • What does the author get out of creating it?

  • What does this tell you about the reliability of the information this site offers?

4. What Perspective does it Represent?

  • What point of view does the site emphasize: For example, if the site deals with abortion, is it Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, or neutral?

  • Is the site reasonable or strident in tone? Does it support its arguments with facts or with rhetoric?

  • What issues doesn't the site address?

5. Is the Information Reliable?

  • Does it fit with what you've found elsewhere?

  • Is the information supported with references or sources?

  • Is the site well edited as far as spelling and grammar?

  • Does the site emphasize image (such as flashy graphics) or substance (quality content)?

Evaluating Websites