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Last Updated: Sep 5, 2017 URL: http://libguides.mpsaz.net/content.php?pid=112584 Print Guide RSS Updates

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Using Information

Information

No matter where you get information it is important to question the source to determine its credibility and application to your need. When evaluating a source there are six broad criteria you can use for this process.

      

    Copyright Information

    Authority

    Authority

    • Who is the author?
    • Do you recognize the author's name?
    • If you don't recognize the name, what type of information is given about the author?
      • Position?
      • Organizational affiliation?
      • E-mail address?
      • Biographical information?
    • What expertise/credentials does he or she have on this topic?
    • Is contact information available?
    • Who sponsors the site?
    • Was the source referenced in a document or website that you trust?

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      Accuracy

      Accuracy

      • Does the information presented seem accurate?
      • Are the facts verifiable? 
      • Does the author cite the sources of information he or she used to develop the document?
      • Is it possible to verify the legitimacy of these sources?

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      Coverage

      Coverage

      • Are the topics covered on the site explored in depth?
      • Are the links in the site comprehensive or used as examples?
      • In the site, are the links provided relevant and appropriate?
      • How useful is the information provided for the topic area?

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      Relevency

      Relevancy

      • Is the information relevant to your research?
      • Would you quote information from this source in a research project?

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      Up-To-Date

      Up-To-Date

      • On what date was the document created?
      • Do you need more current information?
      • If applicable, do links on the document still connect to their destination?
      • Is a date clearly displayed?
      • Can you determine what the date refers to?
        • When the document was first written?
        • When the document was first posted or published?
        • When the document was last revised or updated?
        • The copyright date?
      • Are the resources used and information provided by the author current?
      • Does the document content demand routine or continual updating or revision? If yes, is this being done?

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      Objectivity

      Objectivity

      • What position or opinion is presented and does it seem biased?
      • What kind of sites does this one link to?
      • Determine what is the aim of the author or organization publishing the site.
      • What is the purpose of the web site:
        • Is it advertisement for a product or service?
        • Is it for political purposes?
        • Is it trying to sway public opinion on a social issue?
      • Do you trust the author or organization providing the information?

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      Description

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