Brandel Library

GS 2080:Connor/Westerman/Alex

This research guide is an excellent starting place to begin finding scholarly resources for your final 2080 research paper.

Assessing Websites

5 Keys to Information Evaluation

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Are the links/URLs functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliation?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

Purpose: The reason for the information to exist.

  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

Does Educational Mean Scholarly

Just because you find something on an .edu website doesn't mean that it is scholarly research from a credible scholar.  Opinion and student-created content can be posted on .edu websites which are owned by educational institutions of all levels.

Evaluate all website content regardless of domain.

Check the Bibliography!

When you find a good, scholarly website with a bibliography of solid sources, follow the cited sources for additional information.  Many university departments and academic libraries offer annotated bibliographies of scholarly websites in a particular field.