What should I consider when evaluating my sources?

Relevancy

This is the first check when evaluating your sources, and probably something you are doing already. Make sure the source has something to do with your topic. If you are doing a project on early detection of heart murmurs, you would not cite The Oxford Guide to Library Research. The electronic resources, Library catalog, and search engines you use will start this process for you when you enter your subject or keywords. You can increase the relevancy of articles you are finding by using a few search techniques.

Date

The date of creation or publication of the resource could be very important depending on your topic. If you are researching the history of a topic older resources may work perfectly fine. However, if you want the newest technique, you will also want the latest resources available.

Type

There are many types of resources you can use. These get into more detail than book or periodical, and each one may be a little different than the last. 

Author/Creator/Publisher

See who wrote and who published the resource. Authors and creators tend to leave their opinions in their research whether they intent to or not. As for publishers, some specialty publishers and organizations look for materials that align with their beliefs. An example would be the Christian Science Monitor, or the National Rifle Association.

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