Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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