Concepts of Biology Guide

Guide designed to assist with the Issues in Biology Project

Evaluating resources

Whenever you are exposed to information, it is important that you evaluate the resource.  Is the resource credible and reliable?  Is the author credentialed and does he / she have the background to speak on the subject?  Critical thinking is key to success in school as well as in life.  One must examine information to see if that information is trustworthy and can be integrated into one's mind and life experiences.  This page will cover some basics of evaluating resources, especially information located on the web.

Five Criteria for Evaluating Resources

Below are five items to consider when evaluating your resources:

1.  Authority

   a.  Who is the author?

   b.  By what authority does he / she speak?

   c.  Who is the publisher of the material?

2.  Accuracy

   a.  Does the document have references / footnotes / bibliography?

   b.  Can you verify the information with another source?

   c.  If it is original research, is the methodology of the research clearly explained?

3.  Objectivity / Point of view

   a.  Does the document have bias?

   b.  Is the information presented balanced?

   c.  What is the purpose of the document?  (Inform) (Persuade) (Prove something) (Sell something)

4.  Currency / Timeliness

   a.  When was the information gathered?

   b.  What dates are covered by the data presented?

   c.  When was the information last updated?

5.  Completeness / Scope / Level of coverage

   a.  What depth do you need the topic covered?

   b.  Does the author display a breadth of knowledge on the subject?

Evaluating web resources

Want to know more about evaluating information on the web?  Check out the LibGuide below which covers this in more detail.