Through the Internet, there is much more information available today than was the case only a few years ago. The information explosion places more responsibility upon the reader to critically evaluate resources.
The following four criteria can help you to evaluate your sources:
- Currency--Is the information up-to-date? Is it too dated to be useful?
- Relevance--Does the information really relate to your topic? How does it compare with other information you have located? Would you feel comfortable using the information for your project?
- Authority--Who is the author? What is his expertise? Who is the publisher? Is there contact information for the author?
- Accuracy--Is it well-researched? Is there a bibliography or references so you can locate the original source of the information? Do the facts jive with other sources?
- Purpose--Is there bias? Is the information promoting a specific point of view or is it objective?
Thinking about any type of publication, including websites, in this way will help ensure that you have located the best information available.