Evaluating Sources Tutorial

Importance of Evaluating Sources, Especially Websites

The internet was originally designed as a medium to exchange scientific and military research data. Today the internet has opened up so that scholars, researchers, average Joes, and even idiots can make anything and everything a few mouse clicks away.

The ability to critically evaluate information is an important skill in today’s information age, and students and scholars must carefully evaluate all sources, especially websites, before using information from them.

There are no rules for publishing on the internet. Many websites are not good sources of scholarly information and may not be accurate or objective. There is also no guarantee that the information you looked at last week will be there next week! It’s much better to get academic information from the library’s resources. Learn more about the Steps of Academic Research.

If you do need information from the internet - and that is sometimes appropriate - make sure to evaluate the website(s) using the ABCDE Criteria. One common error is to use only one criterion when evaluating a website or other resource. Instead, use as many of the ABCDE criteria as you can for evaluation.