The is a useful guide to evaluating resources. is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose and it represents the general categories of criteria that can be used to evaluate the information you find. Use the to decide if information is appropriate for your research! See also Evaluating Information from a Citation.*
*This guide has been adapted from the Musselman Library guide on Evaluating Information
Outdated Information: http://www.vegsource.com/harris/b_cancer.htm
Current Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
https://climatekids.nasa.gov/climate-change-meaning/ (great for kids, not so great for college-level research)
Example of why you should examine the URL and the sponsoring organization:
Example of a more reputable website:
Example of why sources should be verified:
Examples of websites with possible bias:
Information used courtesy of University of Maryland University College Library and Creighton University Library; modified by Gettysburg College Musselman Library August 2012; modified by University of Wisconsin La Crosse Murphy Library August 2017
First, make sure you are looking at the most detailed version of the citation/ abstract that is available to you.
Then dig for specifics:
Sample article record from one of the library databases:
You will notice that the author is employed by an educational institution, the article was published in August 2009, it has 19 cited references, and the article is 11 pages long. In addition, even though this article was published in August 2009, it has already served as a source for another article, as designated by "Times Cited in this Database."
To ensure that the journal is peer-reviewed, you read more about it on the journal publisher’s website or even look it up in a library database (or, ask a librarian!).