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Why Evaluate? Authority/Timeliness Documentation/Purpose Review Process/Suitability
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Authority

Ask

  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Does the author have expertise on the subject?
How can I find out?
  • Look at the source to see if it tells you anything about the author's credentials.
  • Check a biographical source.
  • Read a critical review. A review will often give information about the author.
  • Many Internet sources do not give the identity or credentials of the author or producer. Sources that do not give this information have questionable reliability.

Timeliness

Ask

  • When was the information published?

  • Is the date of publication important to the subject matter?

How can I find out?

  • Look at the date of publication.

  • Determine whether it is important to use current sources for the subject. In fields such as medicine, science, business, and technology, currency of information is important. In fields such as history and literature, older materials may be just as valuable as newer ones.


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