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PSCI 361 - Political Research

Evaluating Sources

Before using any information source in your paper, whether it is a book, article, or something from a webpage, you need to carefully evaluate the information to make sure it is both reliable and appropriate. Use this list of questions to help you evaluate information. Depending on your information need, different criteria will be more or less important

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to my research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Additional information at - Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask  Steps and Guidelines for effectively evaluating websites. (UC-Berkeley).

It is not always easy to figure out if online sources are credible. Below are four short videos showing some tools you could use to help you determine if a source is credible.

  1. Watch a short introduction about sorting fact from fiction
  2. Tools to use to investigate the source
  3. Tools to find the original source
  4. Tools to find a trusted source

3:13 minutes

2:45 minutes

1:33 minutes

4:10 minutes