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Evaluating Sources

Credibility - Institutional or Personal?

The institution that publishes material (university, business, government) has a share in determining how much faith you should put in that source, but how about the individual author(s)?

Assessing Personal Authors, Part 1

If you are using a scholarly journal article, it is relatively easy to find author credentials.  Most scholarly journal articles give information about the author's academic career.  The place where the information is given may vary.  In scientific articles it is usually with or under the author's name.

view of a snippet from a scientific journal article, showing the academic credentials following author names

In humanities articles it may be at the bottom of the first page, or at the end of the article.

author's credentials in a humanities scholarly article


Assessing Personal Authors, Part 2

Here are some possible ways to find out about an author:

  • Look up the author in the Primo Library Search or a library database to see what else they have written.
  • Try looking up the author/article/book in Google Scholar. It will find sources written by the author, who has cited their work, and how often it has been cited.