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Information Evaluation Research Guide: Introduction

Learn how to evaluate sources by recognizing the potential of different source types and by applying evaluative criteria.

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South Dakota State University
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Why Evaluate?

Ever feel like you're drowning in information? In our information-rich age, we have a wealth of information available to us from a variety of sources.

We need research skills such as information evaluation to help us use information effectively. Critically evaluating information allows us to select the most useful sources--ones that are relevant and credible.

Identifying and using quality information sources will allow you to better understand your topic and will add credibility to your analyses and conclusions.

Research Purpose

The information evaluation process will depend on the purpose for which you are using the information. When researching for an academic project or looking for information to guide an important decision, you will want to carefully scrutinize information sources. You will also want to compare sources and draw on your own knowledge in your analysis of the topic.

Guide Objectives

Our goals for users of this guide are that you will be able to:

  • employ information about source types in the information evaluation process
  • apply the criteria of currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose to evaluate sources
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