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Click anywhere to continue.
Now you know a little more about how to
find sources, both from the library catalog
and the GALILEO databases.
The next step is to be sure that the
sources you find are appropriate for the
kind of research you’re trying to do.
Why do you need the
information?
Why do you need the
information?

Is it for…
an assignment?
-a paper? a project?
Why do you need the
information?

Is it for…
an assignment?
-a paper? a project?

a project outside of class?
-career help...
Why do you need the
information?

Is it for …
an assignment?
-a paper? a project?

a project outside of class?
-career hel...
Regardless of the purpose for researching
the information, it’s important to make
sure that the information is reliable an...
To get an idea of the appropriateness and
credibility of a source, ask yourself these
questions:
Who?
Who?
What?
Who?
What?
When?
Who?
What?
When?
Where?
Who?
What?
When?
Where?
Why?
Let’s look at an example …
Surge needs to write a paper for English class
about effective student study skills.
He has already searched the library catalog
and the GALILEO databases and is now
looking for some sources on the Internet....
The resource looks like this:
First, Surge needs to know …
Who?
Who wrote or presented this
information?
Does the person have the qualifications to
be presenting this information?
I...
Clues

0Check for authority of the author by

asking:
Clues

0Check for authority of the author by

asking:

0Does the writer have a degree in the

subject? What are his or her...
Clues

0Check for authority of the author by

asking:

0Does the writer have a degree in the

subject? What are his or her...
Clues

0Check for authority of the author by

asking:

0Does the writer have a degree in the

subject? What are his or her...
Surge notices that the article is written by
someone with an advanced degree.

That’s a good sign!
At the bottom we find even more
information about the author.

Well, so far this author seems like an
expert!
Next, Surge needs to know …
What?
What is the content in the source?
Is it relevant to his topic of study?
Clues
0Check for relevance in:
Clues
0Check for relevance in:
0 The title
Clues
0Check for relevance in:
0 The title
0 An abstract if there is one
Clues
0Check for relevance in:
0 The title
0 An abstract if there is one
0 Subject headings or table of contents if they
a...
Clues
0Check for relevance in:
0 The title
0 An abstract if there is one
0 Subject headings or table of contents if they
a...
Surge can see from the title

and a scan of the article that the article is
about effective study habits for students.
He ...
Next, Surge asks …
When?
How current is the information?
Is it outdated?
Clues
0Check for currency by looking:
Clues
0Check for currency by looking:
0 For a date in the citation if you’re looking at
a journal article in a database
Clues
0Check for currency by looking:
0 For a date in the citation if you’re looking at
a journal article in a database
0 ...
Surge checks the site for date
information. He sees the following note at
the bottom of the page:

It looks like the mater...
The next question for Surge to ask is …
Where?
Where did this information come from?
Is it cited?
Is it sponsored by an organization with a
bias?
Is the informati...
Clues
0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
Clues
0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
0 Is this a controversial topic?
Clues
0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
0 Is this a controversial topic?
0 Is the language of this article trying to le...
Clues
0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
0 Is this a controversial topic?
0 Is the language of this article trying to le...
Clues
0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
0 Is this a controversial topic?
0 Is the language of this article trying to le...
Surge can see that this article is on a
website sponsored by Psych Central.
What is Psych Central? He clicks on the
About ...
Here is what Surge finds:

Psych Central is independently run and
has a legacy of providing unbiased
information.
Surge also finds:

The site has credentials and is wholly
owned by a professional in the field.
Looks good!
One more question for Surge to answer …
Why?
For what purpose is this information
being offered?
Does the purpose match his own?
Clues
0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
Clues
0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for
the general public or ...
Clues
0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for
the general public or ...
Clues
0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for
the general public or ...
Clues
0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for
the general public or ...
Why does Surge need information? He
needs it for an assignment.
In general, when you need information
for an assignment, y...
However, if an Internet source passes all
your standards, you might be able to use
it for your research.
However, if an Internet source passes all
your standards, you might be able to use
it for your research.
What is the purpo...
However, it does provide a
citation, indicating that scholarly use
might be expected.

Surge will proceed with caution, bu...
Remember, evaluation of sources
continues after you have chosen to read a
source in-depth.
Remember, evaluation of sources
continues after you have chosen to read a
source in-depth.
Read critically and watch for a...
If you have questions, you can always ask
a librarian! Email us at libref@gsw.edu
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Evaluating Sources

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How to determine if information sources are credible and appropriate for your purpose.

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  • http://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-most-effective-study-habits/000599
  • Transcript of "Evaluating Sources"

    1. 1. Click anywhere to continue.
    2. 2. Now you know a little more about how to find sources, both from the library catalog and the GALILEO databases.
    3. 3. The next step is to be sure that the sources you find are appropriate for the kind of research you’re trying to do.
    4. 4. Why do you need the information?
    5. 5. Why do you need the information? Is it for… an assignment? -a paper? a project?
    6. 6. Why do you need the information? Is it for… an assignment? -a paper? a project? a project outside of class? -career help? a personal research project?
    7. 7. Why do you need the information? Is it for … an assignment? -a paper? a project? a project outside of class? -career help? a personal research project? personal entertainment? -a recipe, the latest Hollywood gossip, your favorite meme?
    8. 8. Regardless of the purpose for researching the information, it’s important to make sure that the information is reliable and trustworthy.
    9. 9. To get an idea of the appropriateness and credibility of a source, ask yourself these questions:
    10. 10. Who?
    11. 11. Who? What?
    12. 12. Who? What? When?
    13. 13. Who? What? When? Where?
    14. 14. Who? What? When? Where? Why?
    15. 15. Let’s look at an example …
    16. 16. Surge needs to write a paper for English class about effective student study skills.
    17. 17. He has already searched the library catalog and the GALILEO databases and is now looking for some sources on the Internet. He found an Internet source he might want to use, but first he wants to evaluate it.
    18. 18. The resource looks like this:
    19. 19. First, Surge needs to know …
    20. 20. Who? Who wrote or presented this information? Does the person have the qualifications to be presenting this information? Is he or she trustworthy?
    21. 21. Clues 0Check for authority of the author by asking:
    22. 22. Clues 0Check for authority of the author by asking: 0Does the writer have a degree in the subject? What are his or her affiliations (where does the author work)?
    23. 23. Clues 0Check for authority of the author by asking: 0Does the writer have a degree in the subject? What are his or her affiliations (where does the author work)? 0What do others in the field think about this person?
    24. 24. Clues 0Check for authority of the author by asking: 0Does the writer have a degree in the subject? What are his or her affiliations (where does the author work)? 0What do others in the field think about this person? 0What else has this person written about the topic? Is he or she an expert?
    25. 25. Surge notices that the article is written by someone with an advanced degree. That’s a good sign!
    26. 26. At the bottom we find even more information about the author. Well, so far this author seems like an expert!
    27. 27. Next, Surge needs to know …
    28. 28. What? What is the content in the source? Is it relevant to his topic of study?
    29. 29. Clues 0Check for relevance in:
    30. 30. Clues 0Check for relevance in: 0 The title
    31. 31. Clues 0Check for relevance in: 0 The title 0 An abstract if there is one
    32. 32. Clues 0Check for relevance in: 0 The title 0 An abstract if there is one 0 Subject headings or table of contents if they are present
    33. 33. Clues 0Check for relevance in: 0 The title 0 An abstract if there is one 0 Subject headings or table of contents if they are present 0 A scan of the article
    34. 34. Surge can see from the title and a scan of the article that the article is about effective study habits for students. He determines that this is relevant to his query.
    35. 35. Next, Surge asks …
    36. 36. When? How current is the information? Is it outdated?
    37. 37. Clues 0Check for currency by looking:
    38. 38. Clues 0Check for currency by looking: 0 For a date in the citation if you’re looking at a journal article in a database
    39. 39. Clues 0Check for currency by looking: 0 For a date in the citation if you’re looking at a journal article in a database 0 After the title or at the bottom of the article from a website
    40. 40. Surge checks the site for date information. He sees the following note at the bottom of the page: It looks like the material was reviewed very recently. That means the data is likely up-to-date.
    41. 41. The next question for Surge to ask is …
    42. 42. Where? Where did this information come from? Is it cited? Is it sponsored by an organization with a bias? Is the information trustworthy?
    43. 43. Clues 0To check for accuracy and bias, ask
    44. 44. Clues 0To check for accuracy and bias, ask 0 Is this a controversial topic?
    45. 45. Clues 0To check for accuracy and bias, ask 0 Is this a controversial topic? 0 Is the language of this article trying to lead me to believe something?
    46. 46. Clues 0To check for accuracy and bias, ask 0 Is this a controversial topic? 0 Is the language of this article trying to lead me to believe something? 0 Is the data sound? Could another conclusion be made based on the data? Is there data missing?
    47. 47. Clues 0To check for accuracy and bias, ask 0 Is this a controversial topic? 0 Is the language of this article trying to lead me to believe something? 0 Is the data sound? Could another conclusion be made based on the data? Is there data missing? 0 Are there many grammatical errors? Is the article well-structured and organized?
    48. 48. Surge can see that this article is on a website sponsored by Psych Central. What is Psych Central? He clicks on the About link at the bottom of the page.
    49. 49. Here is what Surge finds: Psych Central is independently run and has a legacy of providing unbiased information.
    50. 50. Surge also finds: The site has credentials and is wholly owned by a professional in the field. Looks good!
    51. 51. One more question for Surge to answer …
    52. 52. Why? For what purpose is this information being offered? Does the purpose match his own?
    53. 53. Clues 0To determine the purpose of a source, ask:
    54. 54. Clues 0To determine the purpose of a source, ask: 0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for the general public or an expert scholar?
    55. 55. Clues 0To determine the purpose of a source, ask: 0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for the general public or an expert scholar? 0 Is the platform of the information flashy and exciting, or simple? Is the source trying to entertain or inform?
    56. 56. Clues 0To determine the purpose of a source, ask: 0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for the general public or an expert scholar? 0 Is the platform of the information flashy and exciting, or simple? Is the source trying to entertain or inform? 0 Are there advertisements?
    57. 57. Clues 0To determine the purpose of a source, ask: 0 What vocabulary and language is used? Is it for the general public or an expert scholar? 0 Is the platform of the information flashy and exciting, or simple? Is the source trying to entertain or inform? 0 Are there advertisements? 0 Can you see where the author is getting his or her information? Are there citations or a works cited list?
    58. 58. Why does Surge need information? He needs it for an assignment. In general, when you need information for an assignment, you should start your search in the library catalog and GALILEO, not the Internet.
    59. 59. However, if an Internet source passes all your standards, you might be able to use it for your research.
    60. 60. However, if an Internet source passes all your standards, you might be able to use it for your research. What is the purpose of Surge’s source? It isn’t necessarily for scholarly research— the site is available to provide medical advice to the public.
    61. 61. However, it does provide a citation, indicating that scholarly use might be expected. Surge will proceed with caution, but use this resource for his research.
    62. 62. Remember, evaluation of sources continues after you have chosen to read a source in-depth.
    63. 63. Remember, evaluation of sources continues after you have chosen to read a source in-depth. Read critically and watch for authority and trustworthiness.
    64. 64. If you have questions, you can always ask a librarian! Email us at libref@gsw.edu
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