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Critically Analyzing Information Sources: Tips

Ten things to look for when you evaluate an information source.

Thoughts on Evaluating Sources

Evaluating a source (a book or an article, for instance) begins with a critical look at the bibliographic citation--the written description of a book, journal article, essay, or some other published material that appears in a catalog, bibliography, or database.

Examine the publisher (name of the press or the journal publisher), date of publication, presence of an index and a bibliography, and author affiliations.

What can you deduce about the reliability of the source through this preliminary examination?



Need additional help?

Learning how to determine the relevance and authority of a given resource for your research is one of the core skills of the research process.

For more assistance, consult your instructor or a reference librarian.

Reference Help

Samantha McNeilly's picture
Samantha McNeilly
Archives & Special Collections Department
802 Library Tower