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Primary Sources at Kalamazoo College: Evaluating Information

This is a guide to primary sources at Kalamazoo College - what they are and how to find them.

Why Evaluate?

Locating information, whether in traditional print format or in electronic format, is only the first step in doing research. The next step is to evaluate the quality and the usefulness of what you find.

Basic Questions

It is important to critically evaluate the information you use in your research. Use the questions below to help determine the reliability of your sources.

Authority

  • Who is the author/creator? Is this clearly stated? >
  • What are the credentials of the author/creator?

Accuracy

  • How accurate is the information listed?
  • Is the information consistent with information found in other sources?

Objectivity

  • Is the information fact or opinion?
  • Does the author/creator have a bias?

Currency

  • Does the source clearly indicate when it was published?
  • Is the information up to date? If not, is it still useful?

Coverage

  • >Can you determine if the information is complete?
  • Is this indicated in some way?

Subject Guide