Evaluating Information Tutorial

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What... is the focus?
For example...
Summary of what to look for
Who... produced it?
Publishing processes
Summary of what to look for
Why... has it been produced?
Summary of what to look for
When... was it published?
Summary of what to look for
Final reminder

Who produced the information - cut out of series of stick men and women It is important to determine the author or provider of the information so that you can decide whether it is appropriate to reference them in your work.

If you know who the author is you can find out if they:

  • are an acknowledged expert in the subject area
  • have published other papers or books on the subject
  • have been cited by other authors in their publications
  • are known to have a particular perspective on the topic and whether their views are controversial.

Sometimes information, particularly on web sites, is sponsored or hosted by an organisation rather than authored by an individual. Again, you will need to decide whether they are an authoritative source. Try asking yourself:

  • What is the 'business' of the organisation? - if it is a web site, the URL is often a clue:
    • commercial company? (.com or .co.uk or .biz)
    • a non-profit organisation? (.org)
    • a government body? (.gov)
    • a research/educational organisation? (.org or .ac.uk or .edu)
  • How well established is it?
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Adapted from the Open University's SAFARI tutorial by Cardiff University, with permission from the Open University Library.

Created by University Library Service, Cardiff University. Copyright © Cardiff University, 2008; all rights reserved.