• Quality and evaluation

    Quality checklist to help you select the best information sources

    As you are doing your research, make sure you evaluate the quality and usefulness of the sources you consult.  To do this, have a think about some key quality criteria that will help you work out if the source is a good one to use:


    Currency

    • Is the source up to date?  Does it need to be for your needs?
    • When was it published - can you easily find this information?

    Reliability

    • Has your source been officially published? 
    • Has it been reviewed (by a publisher or peer-reviewed for articles)?
    • Is the content backed up with references to other sources that support it?

    Authority

    • Who wrote it?  What is their background and qualifications? 
    • Do you trust that they are qualified to write about the topic?

    Purpose

    • Why was this source written? 
    • Do you trust the purpose behind it? 
    • Does the author want to share research or contribute to the understanding of a topic, for example? 
    • Is it trying to sell you a point of view or product (and if so, you will need to be aware of this if you do use it in your research)?