As you are certainly well aware, we are bombarded with information. It's nearly impossible to NOT be inundated by information just by going about our daily routines. So, whether you are searching for information to finish a homework assignment, or you are searching the web to find out how late your favorite taqueria is open, you're going to have to determine if the information you found is accurate.
So, how do you sort out good information from bad? How can you be sure that the information you found is accurate, up-to-date, or reliable? How do you determine if that 30 page article you found in a scholarly journal is going to work for your assignment?
Evaluating resources can help you make more informed decisions, and can help save you time.
PROVEN Source Evaluation was developed by Ellen Carey, a librarian at Santa Barbara City College, in 2017, and updated in 2020. More information about PROVEN Source Evaluation including a pdf handout can be found on the SBCC library research guide.
Remember, it may not be possible to answer all of these questions when evaluating a source.
In 2016 the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) put together an infographic based on FactCheck.org's article, How To Spot Fake News. The infographic has been translated into 45 languages and can be downloaded from IFLA's website.
While the article and infographic are about fake news specifically, I have found the eight points to be good advice for evaluating any news or other popular information sources such as an Instagram story, a Tweet, or a magazine cover.
If you'd like more detail about any of the eight points listed below, check out How To Spot Fake News at FactCheck.org.
New York City-based NPR affiliate WNYC, developed the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook after having noticed following the September 2013 Washington, D.C. Navy Yard Shooting that the types of misreporting and misinformation being spread following a breaking news story had become predictable.