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Evaluating sources for their credibility

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by

Aliya Baratova

on 23 November 2014

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Transcript of Evaluating sources for their credibility

Are you overloaded by all information around you?
Critical Questions to Ask:
Who is the author?
Is he or she known and respected in the specific field?
When was the material published?
What is the purpose of this source?
When we find sources, we want to find clear and unbiased sources that give the facts. We don’t want opinions that aim to alter and persuade people’s views.
How is this source proved?
Does the publication have references and evidence to prove its point? If the publication just gives claims without support, be suspicious.
Is this website from an organization or author I can trust?
Websites from governmental agencies or institutions are most likely better resources than a
website anyone can post to, like Wikipedia.
Printed material has a higher cost of production than an Internet blog, which anyone can publish for free.
Getting Started: Screening Information
Source Selection Clues:
Reliable Information is Power: Think about how reliable your information is.
Source Selection Clues
Research the author & Investigate the publisher
A source is more credible if written by someone with a degree or other credentials in the subject of interest.
If no author or organization is named, the source will not be viewed as very credible.
Credible and Non-Credible Sources: How to Recognize and Differentiate Between Them In Order to Write Quality Scholarly Papers
How do I evaluate the credibility of sources and determine which ones to use for an assignment?
Then, ask
yourself...
Pre-evaluation:
take a minute to ask yourself what exactly you are looking for.
If, for instance, you are writing a research paper, and if you are looking for both facts and well-argued opinions to support, you will know which sources can be quickly passed by and which deserve a second look.
If you're writing an academic paper in a university setting, you need to be especially strict about sources, focusing specifically on
scholarly article
.

Source Selection
Clues
A peer-reviewed journal
is considered a reliable source because each article must undergo a rigorous review process, with many professional reviewers involved.

If the author is affiliated with a reputable institution or organization, what are its values and goals?
What is his or her educational background?
What other works has the author published?
What experience does the author have?
Has this author been cited as a source by other scholars or experts in the field?
Source Selection Clues

Currency

Think about your topic and how important recent information is to it; is the source current or out-of-date for your topic?
Ask the questions...
What is the date of publication?
For websites, when was the site last updated?
Source Selection
Clues
Point of View or Bias
Be conscious of wording that indicates judgment.
Was the information intended to persuade, inform, entertain or sell?
For websites, what does the address end with -
.com, .edu, .gov
?
Avoid online resources like Wikipedia which are editable by anybody. It means that mistakes can slip in or someone's opinion can be attached.
Source Selection
Clues
Is the work a primary or secondary source?
Primary sources
are original materials that often convey new ideas, discoveries, or information.
Secondary sources
are based on primary sources. They are generally written at a later date and provide some discussion, analysis, or interpretation of the original primary source.
Thank you!
Summary
Credibility:
trustworthy source, author’s credentials, evidence of quality control, organizational support, known or respected authority.
Aim:
an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.

Accuracy:
up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive, audience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy.
Aim:
a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.
Reasonableness:
balanced, objective, reasoned, no conflict of interest, absence of fallacies or slanted tone.
Aim:
a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.
Support:
listed sources, contact information, available corroboration, claims supported, documentation supplied.
Aim:
a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (find at least two other sources that support it).
Thank you for your attention!
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