Skip to Main Content

Library 101: Evaluating the Information

A guide to help you make the most out of your library experience. Learn what types of resources we have, and how you can get and use them.

Evaluating the Information

It is very important to evaluate all of the sources you plan to use.  The amount of evaluation will depend on where the source comes from, and what your intended use of it is.

The videos below will give you some different perspectives on source evaluation.

USU Libraries. Source Evaluation. YouTube. CC BY-NC 4.0.

Brock University Library. Evaluating Sources with RADAR. YouTube.

OKStateLibrary. Inform Your Thinking: Episode 5 - How is Your Information Created? YouTube. CC BY-NC 4.0.


You may have noticed a common theme in the videos - Authority.  Authority is one of the aspects of evaluation that we focus on, as it imbues credibility into sources. It tells us whether the author of the information source has the credentials to be producing the information.  Sometimes, the authority is from Academic degrees, or the authority of being published in a recognized scholarly journal.  Other times, you may need to look at a person's work history, association with professional groups and the credentials they impart, or even personal history.  Your information need will help you determine the level of authority you need in your sources.  If you are just looking for movie reviews, you won't need to be as picky about who wrote the review, and whether or not to trust what they have to say.   However, when you are conducting academic research and writing papers in college, your sources must have a higher degree of authority.  When deciding how to spend your money, you will likely want people with a history of writing accurate reviews, and credible information on the products you are considering.