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Research (General): Where do I start?: Evaluating information

Tools you can use for researching any topic, plus tutorials on research, strategies for evaluating research sources, and how to get research help 24/7

Who, What, When test


Image citation: Blue Wooden Letter 'W.'Photograph.Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 7 Mar 2014.

It's important to evaluate any information you find, especially information you find on the Internet. Unlike books and magazines, which use editors, proofreaders, and fact checkers, there is often no one to check the quality and reliability of Internet information. Since virtually anyone can publish just about anything on the Internet, it's critical to evaluate it carefully. Here are some questions you should ask of every information source you find:

Who? What? When?
  • Who is the person or organization who created the information?
  • Does that person or organization have appropriate qualifications or expertise?
  • What is the nature of the information?
  •  Is it objectively written or is it biased in some way?
  • Is it based on balanced and careful research or is it trying to sell a product or a particular point of view?
  • When was the information written or updated?
  • Is it appropriately current for your research needs?

 Want help? Librarians will help you find the best information, on the Internet or elsewhere. Ask a Librarian 24/7

[Below are more tools you can use to learn more about evaluating information.]

Evaluating Information Sources: Video for SCC students

SCC Library tutorial

This video discusses evaluating credibility of websites and the WWW (Who? What? When?) evaluation method.


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