It is important not just to find information, but also to choose the right resources for your work and think about them critically. Below are some questions to help you decide whether a resource is right fo you and how best to use it, as well as links to our skills hiodes, to help you develop your academic evaluation skills.
Who are the authors? Individuals? Experts? Companies?
Who published it?
Look out for bias and opinion pieces. Is the information covered fact, opinion or propaganda?
When was it published? Recent? Dated?
Consider whether the publication is out-of-date for your own research needs.
How was the research conducted?
Is it representative?
How can you use it to answer your need?
If it’s a piece of research, how did they conduct it? Were the method and sample size appropriate and representative?
Will it support points you are making?
What is the information?
Is it useful to your project?
It needs to relate to your question – try to keep a focus on the question not just the general topic.
Where did you find the information: website, blog, book, journal or database?
Where was the research conducted?
Always try to get your information from reputable sources e.g. textbooks, journals. Research conduced in other countries may not be relevant.
Why was it written?
What are the motivations behind it?
Look out for bias – see also ‘Who?’
Use our study guides to develop your critical skills.