Skip to main content

ROMS 1114 Semiotics (FWS Fall 2017): Evaluating

This is a library research guide for Prof. Ti Akire's First-year Writing Seminar

How to identify scholarly journal articles

More context

Romainmotier: geographic location

Assess your sources: is this source suitable for my paper/argument?

Evaluating the sources you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. The questions you ask about books, periodical articles, web pages, or multimedia sources are similar whether you're looking at a citation to the item or have the item in hand.

How to Critically Analyze Information Sources
Lists some of the critical questions you should ask when you consider the appropriateness of a particular book, article, media resource, or Web site for your research.

Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria
Shows how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and appearance.

Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites
Offers a table of questions to ask.

The C.R.A.P test (for evaluating your sources)


  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?


  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?


  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
  • Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • the creator/author trying to sell you something?
  • Is it biased?

With thanks to Lisa Gold, a creative researcher who blogs at Retrieved March 21, 2116.

Web Accessibility Assistance