Before using any information, ask the following questions: What, why, when, how, where, who?
WHAT has been written and what evidence do they have to support their claim?
- Does it meet your needs? How closely related is the text to your subject?
- Are there references to other sources for further study?
- Does the author use evidence to back up his argument?
WHY have they written it?
- Why was the information created (to inform, sell, persuade)?
- Has the author been sponsored to produce the information?
WHEN was it written?
- When was it written and published?
- Has the climate of opinion changed?
- What’s the issue/edition/publication/last updated date?
HOW convincing is the argument?
- Can the information be verified against another source?
- Are the links and references accurate?
- Be aware of phrases like: "research has shown that …” - what research?
WHERE has it been published?
- Is the text from a trusted, respected source?
- Some journals falsely claim to be academic; check to see if they are indexed by scientific directories, for example: Ulrich's, the DOAJ, ISI Web of Knowledge
WHO is the author?
- Is the author credible?
- Search for the author on Scopus, GoogleScholar, LinkedIn, etc
Alternatively, try: Printable PDF of the evaluation checklist