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EES1128 Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environment

Evaluating Quality Sources

What does it mean for a source to be credible? Why is it important to use these sources? How can you tell if a source is credible?

Evaluate Sources

Evaluating Sources

Criteria for deciding which articles best support the ideas and arguments in your paper:


  • What is the purpose of the resource and what does it contain?
  • Is it comprehensive and does it explore the subject in depth?
  • What does it exclude? Are any limitations discussed?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Is it too basic or too technical for your needs?


  • Is the author's name given?
  • Are her/his qualifications specified? 
  • Is the author an expert in this field?
  • Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution or organization?
  • What is the author's relationship to the information contained in the source?
  • Has the author written elsewhere on this topic?
  • If it is an organization or business website, are they qualified to speak on this topic?
  • Are additional electronic and print sources referenced to complement or support the material presented?
  • Has this author been cited by others?


  • Does the information provided inform, explain, persuade?
  • Is the author's point of view impartial and objective?
  • Are counter-arguments acknowledged?
  • Does it contain facts, opinions, or biases?


  • Is the information factual, not opinion?
  • How valid is the research that is the source?
  • Are the results accurate, and are they supported by the data and methodology presented?
  • Does this support or contradict other articles?
  • Are references to other works given?
  • For websites: Is the site free of errors in spelling or grammar and other signs of carelessness in its presentation of the material?


  • Is the content of the work current?
  • Is a publication date or the date of the most recent update (website) provided?
  • Is timeliness important?

Adapted from Hanover College Library