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

Small blackboard with 'summary' written in chalk
  • Perspectives: do the authors state clearly the viewpoint they are taking?
  • Opinions: academic articles will often present unsubstantiated theories for debate. Look out for opinion presented as if it were fact.
  • Language: can be a useful danger sign. Look out for language which is either emotionally charged or vague.
  • Sponsorship: academic research may be sponsored by industry (e.g. pharmaceutical companies). This does not necessarily make the research less objective but it may make its interpretation selective. Make sure that all potential vested interests are clearly identified and that the sponsors are happy to give access to the actual research data.
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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.