Answered By: Linda Kern Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 Views: 4
We evaluate sources because not all information is created equal and because not all information is appropriate for every purpose. Whether it's for school or in business, we want to rely on the most credible, high quality information we can get (your grade depends in the quality of the information you use!). We also want to be sure we're using the right kind of information for the purpose. For example, if an assignment calls for scholarly articles, we can evaluate the article to be sure it meets that requirement. On the other hand, if an assignment calls for information about an ongoing current event, news accounts will be the most appropriate source. And of course, we want the news source to present first-hand information in an unbiased way, telling us everything that's relevant without slanting it or giving opinions (unless we want opinion rather than fact!). On the other hand, sometimes for personal purposes, an easy-to-find source that's good enough, but not great, might do.
That's the "why" answer. For information on how to evaluate a source to be sure it meets your needs, see our short videos
- Popular, trade and scholarly information
- Primary and secondary sources
- Evaluating information from the web
For more detailed information on evaluating web sources, take a look at our SCARAB LibGuide.
Good question! Thanks for asking a librarian!