Authority or Author
- Who is the author? Is it an individual or a corporate author?
- What are the author’s credentials (education, experience, institutional affiliation)?
- Does the author display a bias or unique perspective?
Hint – The Web of Science and Scopus are both useful in determining the citation history of a specific author.
- Is the author writing on the subject of his or her expertise?
- Is the author frequently cited/respected in the field of expertise?
- When was the source published?
- Is the publication date timely?
- Who published the source? Does the publisher display a bias?
- If published in a journal, is the journal peer-reviewed?
Hint – To find information on the bias of organizations or publishers there are two print sources – the Right Guide (Q. 320.5202573 R4491997) and the Left Guide (Q. 320.51 L522) that may be of assistance.
Content of Information Source
- Who is the intended audience?
- How well does the source cover your topic? All/Part/None?
- Why is the article being written?
- Are sources being cited?
- Are arguments logically presented?
- Are conclusions based on evidence provided in the source?
- Is there a list of cited sources?
- If the source is a book, does it include an index?
- Is this a primary or secondary source?
Hint – Need help on how to cite resources? Go to the OWL.
Any Remaining Issues
- What is your overall impression of this source?
- Are there any remaining questions you have about the source that might bring into question its appropriateness?