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Evaluating Library and Internet Information  

Learn how to quickly and critically evaluate library and Internet materials.
Last Updated: Dec 5, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is evaluation?

Learning how to evaluate effectively is a skill you need both in the academic setting and in life.

In an academic setting, being able to critically evaluate information is necessary in order to conduct quality research. Information occurs in many different formats and types, and each item you find must be evaluated to determine it's quality, relevance, and perspective in order to best support your research. Some general criteria to consider when evaluating information includes:

  • accuracy or credibility

  • author authority

  • quality of the publication

  • scope and coverage

  • relevance

  • currency

  • objectivity or bias

  • sources or documentation

  • intended audience

Some of the information used to determine the quality of a source may be available in the source itself; however, you may be required to consult outside sources. The format of the source (book, journal, Web site) will also influence what you need to look for.

For detailed information on how to evaluate sources, click on the "How do I evaluate information?" tab.


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