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PSY 141: Foundations of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences : Evaluating Sources

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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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