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Online/Off-Campus Guide to the Library: Evaluating Internet Sources

Evaluation Checklist

Authority: Can you identify the author or creator? What are the author's credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area?

Currency: Is the source current or out of date for your topic? Can you even find a date of publication or last update?

Purpose: What is the purpose or motive for the publication/site? (e.g., educational, commercial, entertainment, promotional) Is it trying to sell you something?

Bias: would you say the information is fact, opinion, or propaganda? In other words, what's the bias? Is the author's point of view objective and impartial?

Accuracy of Details: Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched? Are sources listed in a bibliography or included in links to the documents themselves? Are the sources themselves authoritative?

From COMM 2010: Mann Library Tutorial #2, Cornell University; based on checklist created by UC Berkeley Library:


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