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Evaluating Information

Evaluation Helps Avoid Bad Information


It is important to ask yourself questions about the information you are looking at. One of the first ways to avoid using bad information is using the the criteria to evaluate information. The criteria that is listed gives you questions to determine if information is credible and can be used in your research.Take the time to search for information about the author. You should see if there are citations associated with the claims that are presented. There are many websites and tools available to help you check the claims of information that has been written. On this page you will find the criteria for evaluating resources, links to tools that help you determine if a websites claims are true or false, and a link to the Research Companion and its evaluation tool.


Information is accurate if it can be verified. When you are doing research, it is important that your research contains specific and reliable information.


Information has authority if the author has credentials and has been recognized as an expert to write on the subject. If you want to verfy the authority of information, you can author’s credentials by looking to see if their bio is in the information or doing a simple Google search of their name.


Information is objective if it rest on facts and it is clear of any bias. To verify if the information is objective, you have to ask yourself questions like: Is the author expressing an opinion or is he or she developing an objective demonstrating using facts? Is the resource encompassing different points of vie or is it defending only one?


Information is current if it is updated. You can look at the date of the publication or date when the website was last updated for instance.


Finally to evaluate whether a library resource covers the domain under study, you have to analyze whether the information is partial or complete. In order to guide you in this evaluation process, you can try to answer the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where) and H (how) question when checking your information.



Research Companion Database

Good and Bad

The links below will help you determine if a website is offering good or bad information.

Research Companion Tools

Research Companion has embedded tools such as Topic and Search Aids, and Source Evaluation Aid, to get you to the information you need. The tools are easy to use and they also have a video tutorial on how to use the tools. Click on the tabs for each tool and click on the link that will take you to the available tool.

  • The Source Evaluation Aid makes evaluating research resources easy—a simple search box allows the user to type in the title of a periodical or book, or copy and paste a URL, and data results about that source are displayed.
  • The Search Aid helps students develop more effective search queries.
  • Topic Aid connects students to topic overviews and helps them choose a topic they're really interested in.
  • The Revision Aid helps researchers write more clearly and persuasively.

Enter single words (e.g., "terrorism") or general terms (e.g., "climate change") into the box below. Get topic suggestions and links to topic overviews.

Enter one or more keywords into the box below, and get suggestions for alternative search terms. 

Enter the information of the source that you are trying to evaluate in the search bar and pick which type of resource it is.

Choose the type of source you are citing, fill in the information or the link of the source and choose the citation format.

Paste your paper in the Revision Tool for:

  • passive constructions
  • sentences that may be too long for easy reading
  • words that may be misused
  • phrases that may be covering up inadequate evidence, poor organization, or a forced transition

More Links About Source Evalution