Evaluating Information: Home

Why Evaluate?

After finding information that matches the topic and requirements of your research, you need to analyze & evaluate that information.

You need to think critically about the currency, reliability, accuracy, authority, and purpose of your information sources.

Is it "good" information?

Evaluation Criteria

A set of criteria to help evaluate information sources includes:

Criteria Details
Currency
When was it written or last updated?
  • Was the information published or updated within the last 5 years?
  • Is the information still current?
  • Is currency important to the topic?
Relevancy
How useful is the information to your needs?
  • Does the information relate to your topic?
  • Is the information easy to understand, or does it use a lot of unfamiliar words?
  • Is the article long enough to be of use? Is it too brief? If it too long?
Authority
Who is the source of the information?
  • Is there an author listed?
  • Is the author an expert on the topic?
  • Does the author have a bias?
Accuracy
What is the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information?
  • Does the information have citations or footnotes to verify the information provided?
  • Is the text well-written?
  • Is the text free of spelling or grammatical errors?
Purpose
Why does the information exist?
  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform? To persuade? To sell?
  • Does the information contain facts? Or is providing an opinion?