Evaluating Information


Which information is authoritative, reputable, and dependable? This question haunts every effort to research what is known about a social issue. The advent of the internet has made much more information easily accessible, but it has also made the evaluation of information sources much more crucial. The sites listed here try to show you how to approach this problem.


  UC Berkeley Library: Critical Evaluation of Resources  -- A great place to start. With commendable brevity, this site (which considers the full range of information available from libraries as well as that on the internet) gives a clear idea how different kinds of materials fit into a hiearchy of authority, legitimacy, credibility, and dependability.

  Cornell Library: Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals  -- Clear description of the ways that published materials range from the scholarly to the sensational and how to tell them apart.

  NYU: Evaluating Information  -- A good tutorial from Bobst Library that tries to identify the critical issues. Note the summary page.

  UC Berkeley: Evaluating Web Pages  -- An outstanding checklist of criteria for evaluating a web page as an information source.

  Johns Hopkins: Evaluating Information Found on the Internet  -- A thoughtful summary of various means that help you discern the authority and dependability of information on the internet.

  Cornell Library: Critically Analyzing Information Sources  -- How bibliographic information and the content of a source together give you a sense of its worth.

  New Mexico State: Evaluation Criteria  -- A nice checklist of criteria for web sources that tries to specify the rationale for the criteria and links to examples to help clarify each point.


Social Foundations Home Page