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Library Research Skills for Biologists

How can I use this? Why evaluate?

A defining characteristic of academic research is the use of credible sources as evidence. In our current climate of "fake news", knowing how to evaluate information is a fundamental skill.

Evaluating information sources

You will need to evaluate each resource you use for research, whether it is an online or print journal article, a website, a book, a newspaper article, or other source that you want to cite. On the following pages, you will see guiding questions to help you to analyze the authority, accuracy and scope of your information materials to assess how appropriate they will be for your research. Keep in mind that many publications have a particular bias or agenda, which may not be obvious at first glance.

  • Don't expect to be able to answer every question, all the time, for all information resources you look at.
  • Rather, try to use the questions as a tool to help you look at sources critically.