How to Identify and Evaluate Information and Information Sources?

Internet includes many different types of information that can be used as sources for information for your research such as:

- Library Catalogs: usually you can use it to find location books, periodicals and other material within libraries.

- Article Databases (you can use your university subscriptions in ACM, EBSCO, Scopus, Thomson ISI, and IEEE databases to reach high quality scientific research publications).

- International and national scientific peer reviewed journals: you have to check the journal to be sure that it is peer reviewed journal, you can look up the journal title in Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. You need to have an account to login then search the title and if it appears with the image of a referee jersey then the journal is peer-reviewed or refereed. 

How to Evaluate Information and Information Sources?

You get information or information source; that’s great! But before using these information or information sources you have to evaluate them since academic libraries and the Internet sources develop their resources differently.

The following advices help in making your decision and evaluating the information or information source:

- Be careful! almost anyone can add anything to the Internet at anytime.

- Many Internet resources are poorly indexed or not indexed at all.

- Always check "criteria to add materials to the library" with the library! librarians develop plans and use specific criteria to add materials to the library.

- Peer-reviewed publication? Check if it is published in a scholarly or peer-reviewed publication.

- Who is the author for the paper? Is he affiliated with a reputable organization? What is the author's educational background or experience?       

- Does the information covered meet your information needs?

- When was the information published?

- When was the Web site that contains the information was last updated.

- This is so important for you to consider in most cases! Can you contact the author or Web Master to ask for, and receive, the sources used?

- Is there a list of references or works cited? Is there a bibliography?