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Information Literacy in an Era of Alternative Facts & Fake News

This guide provides background information, links, suggestions, and tools from outside organizations to help users in navigating potential fake news

How to Choose Your News

Questions to Ask when Evaluating Results

Relevance & Appropriateness

  • Does this pertain to your topic?
  • Is this important to your topic?
  • Will this support your thesis?

Authority & Credibility

  • Who is writing this?
  • Are they qualified to write on this subject?

Accuracy & Verifiability

  • Are there references to check validity?
  • Is the data available on claims made?

Bias & Objectivity

  • Is this author expressing their opinion as fact?
  • Are they trying to sway your viewpoint?

Currency & Timeliness

  • When was this written?
  • Is the date of the information relational to the source?

Scope & Depth

  • Does it have breadth? Broad in scope
  • Does it have depth? Intense in scope Intended

Audience & Purpose

  • Who is this written for?
  • What are they accomplishing by writing this?

Determine Reliability with IMVAIN

IMVAIN is a mneumonic used to help evaluate sources that show up in news stories:

Independent sources are preferable to self-interested sources.

Multiple sources are preferable to a report based on a single source.

Sources who Verify or provide verifiable information are preferable to those who merely assert.

Authoritative and/or Informed sources are preferable to sources who are uninformed or lack authoritative background.

Named sources are better than anonymous ones.