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An overview of library research and services for patrons of Dibner Library.
Whether you find it online, in print, or in some other form,
critical evaluation of information sources is an essential part of
research. First, be sure you know what type of information your instructor
considers appropriate for your assignment. For instance, many
instructors require the use of scholarly or scientific journal articles.
When evaluating the
credibility of information there are several key areas to consider:
Who is the author? What are his or her
credentials? Is the author associated with a reputable organization?
Who is the publisher? (Commercial publisher,
university press, professional organization?)
What is the intent of the publisher? (Sell
magazines, share research, promote a product?)
the author state the goals of this publication? (To inform, advocate,
the author exhibit a bias or express opinions?
there any advertising presented with the information?
the information appear to be valid and well-researched? Are conclusions
supported by evidence?
authoritative sources cited?
opposing arguments addressed?
type of source is it? (Book, magazine, journal, web site?)
well organized and clearly written? Are arguments presented logically?
information accurate? Are facts documented?
in-depth is the material?
it offer information not found elsewhere?
material primary or secondary in nature?
recently was the research done and the work published?
your topic one that requires current information?