Peoples of the World

This guide will assist you in developing a research topic, locating information, evaluating information, and citing your sources

Evaluating Sources You Find

Evaluate Your Results

Look at the resources you’ve identified. Do you have resources that look at your topic from different perspectives? If you came across resources that don’t support your thesis, will you include those and address the issues they raise? Do you have enough sources from different types of publications? You should not use resources that come from only one journal title, book, or only one author. If you don’t have enough, go back and do some more searching, maybe in a different database. Stop when you feel satisfied that you have identified enough key sources to adequately present your thesis.

Look Over Your  Sources With a Critical Eye

For the most part, you can trust that scholarly articles you find in library databases are reliable sources of information but what about information you find on websites? Use the tools below to evaluate sources that you aren't so sure of.  Look for links on websites that say "About Us' to find out more about who is responsible for the site. Don't hesitate to Google the name of an author, website, or publisher to find out more about them.

How to Evaluate Sources

This short video outlines the five commonly used criteria for evaluating a resource: Authority, Accuracy, Currency, Relevancy, and Objectivity

Evaluating Websites


  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?


  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is is balanced?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?


  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials?
  • Who is the published or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
  • Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • Is it biased?
  • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

from Libraries and Transliteracies, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.