Personal tools

Evaluating information


Before using any information, ask the following questions: What, why, when, how, where, who?


WHAT has been written and what evidence do they have to support their claim?

  • Does it meet your needs? How closely related is the text to your subject?
  • Are there references to other sources for further study?
  • Does the author use evidence to back up his argument?


WHY have they written it?

  • Why was the information created (to inform, sell, persuade)?
  • Has the author been sponsored to produce the information?


WHEN was it written?

  • When was it written and published?
  • Has the climate of opinion changed?
  • What’s the issue/edition/publication/last updated date?


HOW convincing is the argument?

  • Can the information be verified against another source?
  • Are the links and references accurate?
  • Be aware of phrases like: "research has shown that …” - what research?


WHERE has it been published?

  • Is the text from a trusted, respected source?
  • Some journals falsely claim to be academic; check to see if they are indexed by scientific directories, for example: Ulrich's, the DOAJISI Web of Knowledge


WHO is the author?

  • Is the author credible?
  • Search for the author on Scopus, GoogleScholar, LinkedIn, etc



Alternatively, try: Printable PDF of the evaluation checklist