Having solid information is essential for a well researched paper or assignment. Below are two methods that can be used to determine if a potential source is credible and scholarly enough to use for research. If you have questions about the credibility or scholarly nature of a source you are considering using, stop by the Reference Desk and ask a librarian for help.
The process of evaluating source materials is an important part of conducting research. When deciding on whether or not to use a particular website (or any other source), the following questions are useful in determining a source's value for your research needs.
Who is the author/creator of the website?
What are their credentials?
Are they a recognized expert in the field they are discussing?
What is the purpose of the website? Is it to inform? Persuade?
What is the intended audience?
When was the website created?
How long has it been since it was updated?
Does the author provide sources?
Where is the information used to create the website from?
Where is the author from? Who are they affiliated with? A university? A business or company?
Why was the site created?
Why should anyone use this website?