Academic study requires students to be able to find, evaluate and use information from ‘credible’ sources.
Credible sources provide information that is factual and unbiased, and has been written by someone who is an expert in their field.
Indications that a source is credible include authority, accuracy, purpose, and currency. Consider the following:
Are the author and publisher qualified, and do they have expertise in the subject area?
Is the information accurate and is it supported by research, evidence, and references?
Is the information peer-reviewed?
*Peer review refers to the editorial process of a journal; articles are reviewed by experts before being approved for publication.
What is the intent or purpose of the information?
Is the information current or up to date or based on established knowledge, standards, or understanding?
Is the information relevant for your purpose?
Finding Credible sources:
Using the library search is a good starting point to find credible sources.
Finding Credible articles:
Databases have search tools that help you find credible information.
You can choose to limit your search by filtering:
Source Type/ Format
The number of citations an article has may also assist in evaluating credible information.
Finding Credible websites:
When searching for credible websites it is important to identify the author or publisher. Avoid personal and anonymous authors or commercial websites. Check the content of the website for spelling, grammar, and obvious bias. Examples of credible websites may include websites published by professional organisations or government departments.
URLs/Domains can help you identify the authority of a website. Consider the following:
.com or .org indicates a commercial website
.gov indicates a government website
.edu indicates an Education website
Finding Credible social media:
Material published on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or personal blogs may be unreliable. Individuals often use social media accounts to express personal opinions and the information may not be based on facts or research. It may be appropriate to use social media for some assignments when opinions or commentary are relevant.
Official badges and symbols are commonly used to identify verified social media accounts.