Skip to main content

Search Guide: Evaluating Information

Resources, strategies and tutorials for finding information online

Thank You

Some of the materials presented here are from Finding Articles, by the Irvine Valley College Library

How to evaluate sources

Remember your ABCs

Due to the sheer amount of information available on the Internet, it can often be difficult to gage the quality and reliability of what's out there.

Use the guide below to help you evaluate your information choices:

Accuracy 

  • How reliable is the information?
  • Are there obvious errors or omissions?
  • Is it clear who has responsibility for the accuracy of the content?
  • Does the document present logical reasoning for assumptions?
  • Are original sources referenced?
  • Can you verify references and outside links?

Authority

  • Who is the author of this page?
  • Are the author's qualifications clearly stated?
  • Is the author separate from the "webmaster"?
  • Can the author be contacted for clarification?
  • What institution published this? Check the domain name.
  • Does the publisher list qualifications or outline a review process?
  • Are they reputable?

Bias

  • What goals/objectives does this resource meet?
  • Why was this written?
  • For whom?
  • How detailed is the information?
  • What opinions are expressed?
  • Is there disclosure of sponsorship?
  • What is the context in which the information is provided?

Currency

  • Are there dates to indicate:
  • When it was written?
  • When it was last updated?
  • Is it clear when data was gathered?
  • How up-to-date are the links?
  • Are there other indications that the information is kept current? 

 

Coverage

  • What topics are covered?
  • Are they covered in depth?
  • Is the resource a work in progress?
  • How does this work compare to other works, electronic and print?
  • Is the coverage unique?
  • Is the information relevant and useful?

 

From How do I Evaluate a Website
by the Santa Fe College Lawrence W. Tyree Library

Research Online for College Students

Checkout this video for information on how to evaluate websites.

 

Skills for life

  • Finding accurate, quality information is a skill that will serve you in any future occupation.
  • If you use information that is inaccurate and of poor quality, your work product will naturally suffer (i.e. garbage in=garbage out).