Thoughts on Evaluating Sources

Evaluating a source (a book or an article, for instance) begins with a critical look at the bibliographic citation--the written description of a book, journal article, essay, or some other published material that appears in a catalog, bibliography, or database.

Examine the publisher (name of the press or the journal publisher), date of publication, presence of an index and a bibliography, and author affiliations.

What can you deduce about the reliability of the source through this preliminary examination?

Return to the previous page and review the more detailed criteria there.

Need additional help?

Learning how to determine the relevance and authority of a given resource for your research is one of the core skills of the research process.

For more assistance, consult your instructor or a reference librarian.

Reference Help

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Michael Engle
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Cornell University Library

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