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BGSU Firelands Library

Firelands Library Research Guide: Evaluate your Resources!

This is the basic research guide to help with writing a research paper in any class.

Tips For Evaluating Resources

Accurate, current, and appropriate information are valuable commodities.  Be a discriminate consumer of information!  If you are not confident that the information you have retrieved is the best information for your purpose, ask a librarian for assistance.  Remember that anyone can put anything on the Web.  It is up to you to be sure that information you are incorporating into papers and research projects is good, reliable, college-level information!

When evaluating information ask yourself…….

Authority:  The first question I ask myself is who put this information here?

        Who is the author?

        Is he/she an expert?

        Who is the publisher?  Are they reputable?

Objectivity:  If you find biased or opinioned information, be sure to find sources that give the other side of the story as well.  It is up to you to put the researched information together to form your own thoughts and opinions.

        Is this fact or opinion?

        Is the information biased in any way?

        Is there any advertising in the resource?

        Who is the intended audience?

 Accuracy: Try to find reviewed material or information that has been posted by .org's (organizations), .gov's (government research) or .edu's (educational sites). 

        Is the information true? 

        Where did they get the information?

        Is the information cited in a works cited or reference list?

Currency:  The date of your information is important especially if it is something like medical/health information or  technological sources.

        Is the information dated?

        Is the information current enough for your research?

        Has the information been updated recently?

Citation:  Remember throughout the research process that you will most likely always have to cite your information so be sure to print or save what you will need to do so.  (see the Citation Help Tab)

         Do you have enough information to create a citation for your works cited page?

          Is this a page that your professor would want you to use?

          Did you print it out in case your professor cannot find the page when checking works cited?