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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (22:355:102): Evaluating Resources

This page supports research instruction for English 102 using the novel Frankenstein.

Ask-A-Librarian

There are several ways to seek help from a librarian:

How to Evaluate Sources

You must evaluate all sources that you find - yes, even those found on library shelves or within the library’s databases!  So, what do you need to look for?

· Relevancy of resource to your topic

· Currency – are you doing a historical study or do you want only the most recent information about your topic?

· Authority/credibility/reliability of authors/editors/publishers

o What are their credentials?

o Are they considered experts in the field?  Do other scholars cite their works?

· Accuracy / validity

o Do other sources say the same thing?

o What supporting evidence (e.g., references) is provided?

· Biases – may have an effect on the information presented

o Who is funding/sponsoring the study?

o What are the author/editor’s affiliations?  Political viewpoints?  Religious beliefs?

o Is there balanced coverage, where all aspects of the subject are discussed to the same level of detail?

o Is it just-the-facts being presented or an interpretation of the facts?

o Are assumptions or opinions being made without supporting evidence?

o What is the context in which the information was created?

· Purpose & intended audience – this affects how the information is presented

· Referrals – Further Reading suggestions or hyperlinks if it’s a Web site

 


TIP:  The general rule of thumb has been that .gov (and most .edu) Web sites are usually reliable; however, you should evaluate those just as you would the .org and .com sites!



Click on the links below for more information about evaluating information sources:

Physical Sciences Librarian

Roberta Tipton's picture
Roberta Tipton
Contact:
Roberta L. Tipton
Business Librarian
Public Administration Librarian
Information Literacy Coordinator
The John Cotton Dana Library
Rutgers-Newark
973-353-5910
tipton at rutgers.edu
Website / Blog Page

Licensing Information

This guide is copyright-protected, but you are welcome to reuse it as per the license below (click for more details):