Evaluating information is a critical part of the research process and is a valuable skill that will help you in everyday use of information.
Developing this skill now will help you long after you have graduated.
Many criteria can be used to evaluate information, and we will focus on three:
Who is responsible for writing the material? What are their credentials?
How does this information relate to my topic? Will it help me to make a point?
Was the information researched and written at a time apporpriate to your topic?
ANYONE can publish on the Web! What you see are a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Evaluate each website critically before using it for your research.
Scholarly - Also known as academic, refereed, or peer-reviewed journals
Popular - Also known as general interest magazines
Trade Magazines - Also known as professional or industry journals, newsletters, or magazines
If the articles you find do not cite sources or if you want to verify information, try some of these fact checking websites:
Take a look at the address or URL. Do you know what the domain names are for websites? Here are the ones you will see most often.
.com = commercial
.org = organization
.net = network
.gov = government
edu = education