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Sociology

Sociology and Social Policy resources

Evaluating Information

When we obtain information for use in research, no matter the source, it is important that we look at the quality of the information. The following questions are a guide on ways of assessing if information discovered during research is reputable, current and verifiable. For additional assistance evaluating information try the ANU Library Evaluating Sources Guide.

Currency

  • Is the information up to date?
  • Is there an indication of when the page was produced or last updated?
  • Are any links up to date?

Accuracy

  • Who provides the information? Is the author of the source clearly stated?
  • Does the author provide contact details that you can use to ask follow-up questions about the information?
  • Does the author or publisher list their credentials and affiliations, and can they be verified?

Coverage

  • Does the page require special software to view information? If so, are you missing some of the information?
  • Is some information limited to fee-paying customers?
  • Is the information cited correctly?

Objectivity

  • What is the purpose of the page? Is it simply a marketing tool?
  • Is there evidence of bias in the information?
  • How detailed is the information?

 Authority

  • Does the URL indicate what type of organisation the information is coming from? Does this inform you about the credibility of the information?
  • Has the author provided citation for evidence and sources supporting their information? Does the resource include a bibliography or reference list?
  • Can the information be verified elsewhere?
  • Has the work been peer reviewed?

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