Checking the Reliability of Sources

Created 1/19/2019

This page is intended to help you check the reliability of an article or website. Answer the questions below to determine a reliability score.

Title of the resource you are evaluating:

URL of the resource you are evaluating:

Your name(s) and school:

Part 1: How up to date is the information?

When was the information published?

Has the information been revised or updated since it was first published?

Is the information current or out of date?

Are links found within the site functional?

Summary: Based on your answers, how up to date does the information appear to be?

very out of datevery up to date

Part 2: How relevant is the information for your needs?

Does the information relate to your topic and/or answer your questions?

Who is the intended audience?

Is the information at an appropriate level for its audience?

Would you be comfortable citing this source for an academic research paper?

Summary: Based on your answers, how relevant does the information appear to be for your needs?

not relevantsomewhat relevantextremely relevant

Part 3: How reliable is the source?

Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

If an author is named, are the credentials or organizational affiliations listed?

How authoritative and qualified does the author/organization appear to be?

What are the author’s/organization’s qualifications to write about this topic?

Is there contact information for the author or organization on this page?

Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Summary: Based on your answers, how reliable does the source appear to be?

unreliablesomewhat reliableextremely reliable

Part 4: How accurate is the information?

Where does the information come from?

Is the information supported by valid evidence?

Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Is the information consistent with information from other sources?

Does the language or tone seem biased?

Is the information presented in a professional manner (proper spelling and grammar, lacking typos)?

Summary: Based on your answers, how accurate does the information appear to be?

inaccuratesomewhat accurateextremely accurate

Part 5: What is the purpose of the source?

Does the point of view appear to be objective and impartial?

Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases evident?

Does anything related to this information appear to be for sale?

Do the authors/publishers make their intentions or purpose clear?

Is the information fact, opinion, or a sales tool?

Summary: Based on your answers, what is the purpose of this source?

profit-driven or manipulativeunclear or mixedsolely educational

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