- When was the information published or last updated?
- Does publication date matter for your topic? (historical topics vs. rapidly changing fields)
- Are links and references up to date?
- Have newer articles been published on your topic?
- Is the information relevant to your topic?
- Is the information too techincal or too simplified for you to use?
- How in depth is the material? Does it add something new to your understanding?
- Would this source be a suitable addition to an academic research paper?
- Is the author formally educated in the subject area? Do they have a history of research/writings in the subject area?
- Is the author affiliated with a university, research center or other respected institution?
- Can you find information about the author? Do other authors cite the author?
- Are there statements you know to be false? Are there errors in spelling, punctuation or grammer?
- Was the information reviewed by editors or subject experts?
- Are claims, viewpoints, arguments and conclusions reasonable?
- Is the content supported by authoritave sources? Are the sources cited?
- Is the publisher a trustworthy organization, like a university press, scholarly society or government organization?
- To what extent are advertisements used in the publication?
- What is the mission or goal of the publisher? Can you find it?
- Is the author's purpose to shock, sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?
- Is there an obvious bias or prejudice? Are alternative points of view presented?
- Does the author omit facts or data that might disprove their claim?
- Does the author use strong or emotional language?