Why do I need to evaluate resources?
In academia and after graduation you will be expected to use the highest quality sources of information for your work. As you gather information for your research projects, you'll look at many different sources: books, articles from databases, Web documents, interviews, videos, and more.
Here are five questions to ask about all information you are considering using in your academic work:
Relevancy - Does it answer your question or contribute to your research?
Currency - Is the content presented current enough for your project?
Accuracy- Is the information provided correct?
Authoritativeness - Does the author have expertise on the topic about which he/she is writing?
Objectivness - Is there bias or a slant given to the information provided?
The books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's research databases are usually reliable and credible because they have gone through a traditional editorial process; someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made and deemed them suitable for publishing. You still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and suitable for your project but you can feel confident that it is a credible, reliable source. Online resources often do not go through the editorial process and must be evaluated thoroughly before use.