Evaluating Your Material
- Is it peer reviewed?
- Is there supporting evidence for assertions made?
- Is the information verifiable?
- Is there an accurate bibliography?
- How does the work relate to material you have already read? Does it update, substantiate or add new information? You should aim to explore a variety of opinions;
- Are the ideas and arguments similar to other readings on the same topic? Scrutinise radical papers more critically as they represent a departure from current thinking;
- Is the text well written and presented? Does it contain subject specific jargon or is it written for a general readership? Is the language free of emotion and bias?
- Is the material presented logically?
- Is the URL for the website stable? Authoritative sites should utilise an automatic redirection function if they move to a new URL. You must be confident the site will still exist if you need to revisit it;
- Is the site well maintained? Are links within the website current?
- Is there advertising on the website? If so the type of advertising may reflect the content of the webpage;
- Does an individual, group or organisation sponsor the site? This will indicate bias if any;
- Check the domain e.g. .com (commercial) .edu (educational institution), .gov (government) to determine potential slant of the material.
For assistance contact your School Librarian
or the Research Services Librarian