Presentation on theme: "Evaluating Sources This presentation was created using information from Teaching Information Literacy: 35 Practical, Standards-Based Exercises for College."— Presentation transcript:
Evaluating Sources This presentation was created using information from Teaching Information Literacy: 35 Practical, Standards-Based Exercises for College Students.
Types of Resources to Evaluate Books Periodicals Web Sites
Authorship What are the author’s or authors’ qualifications? (This can be determined by examining information on the title page, a list of contributors, the introduction or another introductory part of the book. Information usually includes educational background and occupational information. Note: Don’t confuse authors with editors).
Currency When was the book published? (This information can be found on the front or back of the title page of a book. When doing a research paper on a topic that is time-sensitive, or when you are using time-sensitive information or data, you will need current resources).
Purpose Why was this book written? Who is the intended audience? (The answer to these questions can typically be found in the Preface or Introduction of a book)
Relevance Does this book cover the same general subject as your paper? (For example, if the topic of your research paper is “tuberculosis and vaccination,” does the whole book deal with the topic, or does a chapter or two discuss the topic? You can determine this by examining the table of contents or index)
Coverage (Related to Relevance) How much coverage does the book provide for your topic? (A book may give only a few paragraphs of information on your topic. On the other hand, a book may provide several pages of information pertaining to your topic. In addition to reading the relevant parts of the book, you can also check the table of contents and index).
Criteria for Evaluating Periodicals Title Frequency of Publication Authorship Length of Articles Article Titles Intended Audience Purpose Availability of Abstracts Availability of References
Important: Before you can evaluate a periodical, you need to know what type of periodical you’re using.
3 Major Categories of Periodicals Popular Magazines and Newspapers Professional, Trade, and Industry Periodicals Scholarly Journals
Magazines and Newspapers Title May have “magazine” in the title Publication Frequency Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly Authorship Staff, freelance authors or guest authors Article Length Usually short Article Titles Popular or catchy article titles
Magazines and Newspapers (continued) Intended Audience Non-expert readers, general public Purpose To entertain, advertise, inform to a certain extent Abstracts Articles do not have summarizing abstracts References Articles do not have references (works cited)
Evaluating Professional, Trade, and Industry Periodicals
Professional, Trade, and Industry Periodicals Title May have “news” or occupational terms Publication Frequency Weekly, biweekly, or monthly Authorship Staff, freelance authors, guest authors or professionals Article Length Usually short Article Titles Straightforward
Professional, Trade, and Industry Periodicals (continued) Intended Audience People associated with a certain trade, industry or profession Purpose To address issues in a particular profession or industry Abstracts No summarizing abstracts References No references
Scholarly Journals Title May have “journal” “quarterly” “bulletin” or “review” in title Publication Frequency Monthly, quarterly, or semiannually Authorship Scholars, professors in universities Article Length Long Article Title Usually long
Scholarly Journals (continued) Intended Audience Scholars, college students Purpose To report results of original research and inform Abstracts Articles usually have an abstract at the beginning References Articles have references at the end
Examples of Periodicals Popular –Time Professional, Trade or Industry –Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration News Scholarly –JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Important: Evaluation is especially important when it comes to Web sites. Many Web sites do not go through the editorial process like books and periodicals do. Thus, many Web sites are not checked for quality prior to being uploaded to the Web.
Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites Purpose/Intended Audience Authorship Accuracy/Reliability Currency Objectivity Ease of Use
Purpose/Intended Audience Why was this Web site created? (Purpose) (This information may be found on the Web site’s home page or on the “About this site” page, if available) For whom was this Web site created? (You may find out who is the intended audience by going to the home page or “About this site” page. Also, check URL suffix,.com,.edu,.gov,.org, etc.)
Authorship Is the author qualified to write publicly about the topic or subject? –Look for the author’s name. (May be on the home page) –Look for information regarding author’s qualifications (Educational background, occupation. This may be found on the Web site, then you could check another site to verify).
Accuracy/Reliability Are there spelling or grammatical errors on this Web site? Does the Web site have a list of works cited or links to other resources that would verify the information on the Web site? Would books and/or periodicals confirm the information or data on this Web site?
Currency When was the Web site created? When was the Web site last updated? (The answer to the first two questions should be found at the bottom of the home page of the Web site). Are there any dead-end links on the Web site?
Objectivity Is the Web site mostly factual or mostly opinionated? Is the subject of the Web site a controversial subject? Is there hateful or inflammatory language used? Is the Web site part of or sponsored by a company or organization? (This can affect what is stated).
Ease of Use Can you navigate the site easily? (In other words, can you go from one part of the site to another easily?) Is there a search box on the home page? Is the Web site organized? (Some Web sites have a table of contents for organizing topics).