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Put it to the Test
Use the criteria listed below to efficiently identify and evaluate information resources.
Accuracy or Credibility
- Is the information provided based on proven facts?
- Is it published in a scholarly or peer-reviewed publication?
- Have you found similar information in a scholarly or peer-reviewed publication?
Author or Authority
- Who is the author?
- Is the author affiliated with a reputable university or organizations?
- What is the author's educational background or experience?
- What is their area of expertise?
- Does the author/publisher provide contact information?
Coverage or Relevance
- Does the information covered meet your information needs?
- Is the coverage basic or comprehensive?
- Is there an "About Us" link that explains subject coverage?
- How relevant is it to your research interests?
- When was the information published?
- When was the website last updated?
- Is timeliness important to your information needs?
Objectivity or Bias
- How objective or biased is the information?
- What do you know about who is publishing this information?
- Is there a political, social, or commercial agenda?
- Does the information try to inform or persuade?
- How balanced is the presentation or opposing perspectives?
- What is the tone of language used? (angry, sarcastic, balanced, educated)
Sources or Documentation
- Is there a list of references or works cited?
- Is there a bibliography?
- Is there information provided to support statements of fact?
- Can you contact the author to ask for and receive the sources used?
Publication and Website Design
- How well designed is the website?
- Is the information clearly focused?
- Are the bibliographic references and links accurate, current, credible, and relevant?
- Are there contact addresses for the authors and publishers available from the site?
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