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Narragansett Pier School Library: Evaluating Sources


Accuracy: the reliability, correctness and truthfulness of the content

  • Check the information against other sources

  • Check for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes





Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • Is the information current?

  • When was the page last updated?

  • Does your topic require current information ( such as science or technology)?

  • Will older sources work for researching your topic?



  • Are both sides of the issue presented?

  • Is the page unbiased?

  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does it try to persuade you to a particular viewpoint?

  • Is the page trying to sell anything?

  • Is there advertising? If so is it set off to the sides

  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?



Relevancy: the importance of the information for your needs:

  • Does the site include answers that meets your information needs?
  • Is the page too general for your topic?
  • Is the page too specific for your topic?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?


Authority: the source of the information

  • Is the author an expert on the subject?
  • Does the author have a degree or is he/she affiliated with known organizations?
  • Who sponsors the site?




Purpose: the reason the website exists

  • What is the point of the information? Is it to inform, persuade or sell, or entertain?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?