Part 4. Evaluate your Sources

Key Takeaway

Evaluating a source of information involves asking critical questions about its suitability for your research project.

Learning Objectives

After this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify indicators of authority to determine the credibility of information sources
  • Evaluate the relevance of a source for a particular research need, based on considerations of currency, accuracy, and purpose

Navigation: How to move around this tutorial

This module should take roughly 15 minutes to complete.

Use the arrows at the bottom of each page to move forward and backward through the modules. Or, use the Contents menu in the top left hand corner to go to a particular section.


At this point in your research, you’ve likely found several sources of information that might work for your assignment. Now it’s time to take a closer look at these sources and make sure they are the best ones for your research purposes. This is true of information you find in a general Google search as well as the library resources. Whether you are considering a blog post or a journal article, you will need to pay attention to several factors, including not just the expertise of the author, but also the purpose, quality, and relevance of the information before deciding whether or not to use it in your assignment.

The bottom line is that most experienced searchers view the information they find with a degree of skepticism as well as an open mind.



Figure 4.1 Being an effective researcher. Image by GotCredit.



Image: “Expert key” by GotCredit is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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Doing Research Copyright © 2020 by Celia Brinkerhoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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