When looking at a source, make sure you can check-off on all these criteria
For all Sources
Is there an author? Is the contact information listed for the author?
What are the author’s credentials? Is the author cited by other scholars on this subject? Where does he/she work? What else has she/he written? Is she/he referenced by other scholars in the field?
How important is it for your project to have the most recently published information?
Does the author make clearly presented, logical arguments?
Is the information detailed? Is there sufficient evidence to back up the arguments made?
Is there a bibliography exhaustive (10 or more sources) and cite authoritative sources? Does the author acknowledge other scholarship, or situate themselves in the context of other literature written on the subject?
Does the source present a particular bias?
Are there graphics or charts included? Are they relevant and presented clearly?
Is there original research presented?
What is the author’s purpose?
Is the information detailed and provide substantial evidence? Does it add support for what you are arguing with your project, or offer a valid counter-argument?
What is the target audience? Is it appropriate for your project?
For Specific Sources
Is the online source coming from a database or a website anyone can access? (If the source is from a database, then the likelihood of the source is credible is much higher.)
What is the URL of the website? (If it ends in .gov, .edu, or .org there is an increased likelihood the website is credible)
Is the website sponsored by a credible organization or institution? What is the sponsor’s stated philosophy?
Is the page professionally presented, well written, and free from spelling and grammar mistakes?
Are there links to other webpages? Are the links active? Do other websites link to this site?
Is the information copied from another site?
When was the webpage published? Has it been updated recently?
Who is the publisher?
Are there book reviews of the book? Are the reviewers also notable scholars in this field? Do the reviews support the reliability and the validity of the book?
Is the article scholarly? Where is the article published?
Who is the author? What perspective does the author present?
What was the author’s experience and/or role with the event reported/documented?
Who is the targeted audience
(Other sources that present PRIMARY SOURCES)
Who is responsible for the source presenting the primary source? If a webpage, what does the URL indicate about the sire?
What is the source’s purpose in presenting a primary source?
What is the format of the primary source?
Is the document is a transcript, how was it originally transcribed, and is it accurate?