Guide to Evaluating Source Credibility

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Transcript Guide to Evaluating Source Credibility

MVHS Research Projects
Choosing Reputable Sources
Types of Sources
Your research should include a variety of
sources. Documents to consider include:
• Editorials
• Essays
• Maps
• Charts
• Articles
Is the Source Reputable?
Is it essential that you screen the information you
gather to ensure that it is relevant and
reputable—based on the purpose of your
research, ask yourself the following:
• What source or what kind of source would be the
most credible for providing information in this
particular case?
• Which sources are likely to be fair, objective,
lacking hidden motives, showing quality control?
Source Selection
Whenever possible, try to select from
sources that provide all or most of the
following information:
Author’s name
Author’s title or position
Author’s organizational affiliation
Publication/creation date
Author’s/publisher’s contact information
Good Bets
• Scholarly journals
• Books/essays/articles by respected experts
• University/high school sponsored research
databases (see link on my website)
• University and government websites or
respected organization’s websites (e.g.
nonprofits)—be sure information is from the
organization and not from individual within
organization whose credentials can’t be verified!
Peer Reviewed Sources
• Always try to find “Peer Reviewed”
sources (sometimes called “Refereed”)
• How do you know a source is Peer
• To verify that a publication is peer
reviewed, go to the EBSCO Host
database, click the “Publications” tab,and
search the name of the publication
Sources to Avoid
Many .coms
Anonymous sources
Sources without contact information
Sources that are also trying to sell
something along with the information they
• Sources with bad grammar or spelling
• Extremely one-sided sources—ones that
don’t even acknowledge opposing views
CARS Checklist for Credibility
C redibility
A ccuracy
R easonableness
S upport
• Author’s credentials (education/training)
• Evidence of quality control (e.g. peer
review/respected organization or
• Timeliness
• Comprehensiveness (e.g. How much and
how specific is the evidence presented?)
• Audience and purpose
• Fairness (e.g. no ad hominem attacks)
• Objectivity
• Moderateness
• Consistency
*Note that sometimes even respected
organizations are not naturally neutral if
they are promoting a particular agenda
• Source documentation or bibliography
• Corroboration
• External consistency
Source Evaluation Practice
• The following slides include web resources
identified following a search of the topic
“Illegal Immigration.”
• Explain why the source is or isn’t credible.
Source A
• The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration
Source B
• Estimating the Undocumented Population
Source C
• Out-of-Control Immigration
Source D
• United States Immigration Support
Source E
• Illegal Immigrants Are a Factor in State
Source F
• Illegal Immigration Population Dips