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Guide to Finding Resources: Evaluation of Resources

The information in this guide supports the information literacy program offered by the library to all first year students.

Before you read the information....

Whatever the source of your information, whether online or print, it is possible to evaluate it even before fully reading it. This can save valuable research time.

In your initial appraisal, consider...

Author

Currency (date of publication)

Authenticity

Edition or revision

Publisher

Journal type

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Your lecturer may ask you to include peer reviewed or scholarly articles in your assignments. What does this mean?

A scholarly article is one that has undergone the peer review process. This means that a number of highly regarded professionals (peers) have read and approved the content of the article. The process ensures the information included in the article is of a high quality. Always tick the peer reviewed box when searching for articles in databases.

Why do I need to evaluate information?

Finding information on the topic of your assignment is only the first step. You also need to have a close look at the information to decide whether you are going to use it. Just because you have found a journal article on your assignment topic, doesn't necessarily mean that it is relevant to the question your lecturer is asking.

Reviewing the resource - Quick Tip

If your source is a PDF, html or eBook file, try Ctrl+f / Command+f to look for your search term in the text to see how much coverage there is.

Evaluating information

Take a look at the Prezi below for more information about evaluating information resources.

When carefully reading the information.....

Once you have identified a possible good resource for your assignment read it carefully. Then check the following...

Accuracy

Objectivity

Coverage

Currency

 

Evaluating websites