CURRENCY – timeliness of information
- When was the information published?
- Is the information current and up-to-date?
- Has it been revised or updated? When? Should it have been updated?
- If online: are the links functional?
RELEVANCE – uniqueness of information and importance to research needs
- Does the information relate to your topic?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. too elementary or too advanced)?
- Can you find the same or better information in another source?
AUTHORITY – source of information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- What are the author’s credentials? Any organizational affiliations?
- Is this author qualified to write on the topic?
- If online: examine the domain (.gov, .edu, or .com). Can you find the author’s contact information?
ACCURACY – reliability and correctness of information
- Is the information supported by evidence? Can you verify it from another source?
- Has the information been peer reviewed or refereed?
- Does the language seem biased? Is the tone free of emotion?
- Are there any typos, spelling, or grammatical errors?
PURPOSE – presence of bias, reason the information exists
- What is the purpose of the information: to inform, teach, sell, entertain, etc.?
- Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
- Is the point-of-view objective and impartial?
- Do the authors make their intentions or purpose clear?