How can you identify valuable sources for your research?
Evaluate each source for...
- Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
- How is this source positioned within the current conversation surrounding your topic?
- How does this source build upon previous schlolarship?
- Does the information relate to your topic or help answer your question?
- Who is the intended audience (scholars, the general population, a specific group)?
- How do your research needs compare with those of the intended audience?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (e.g. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
- Who is responsible for the presentation of this information? (author, publisher, funding agency, etc.)
- What are the author's credentials? (education, institutional affiliation, previous research, honors, etc.)
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
- Is the publication from a reliable publisher? What is the domain?
- Where does the information come from?
- Is the information supported by evidence?
- Can you verify the information presented using other sources like encyclopedia articles, government documents, statistical data, or primary sources?
- Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
- Are other researchers citing this source?
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, persuade, entertain, sell?
- Does the author meet the goals defined in the abstract or introduction?
- Does the point of view appear objective and imparial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?