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Is credible?

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2016  |  845 Views

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Thank you for your question. News blogs/magazines can be tricky to evaluate for credibility. The answer to your question, as it is asked, is maybe. You will need to evaluate the specific content you want to use. To do this, apply the 5 W's below to your content and for how you want to use it in order to determine if the article is credible.

  • Who?--Who is the author? Are they an expert in the topic? Did they do research on the topic? Did they cite their sources? Did they use good sources?
  • When?-- When is the information from? How old is it? Have things changed in the field since it was written? 
  • Where?-- Where is the information coming from? Is it from an already established credible source (ex: published textbook or New England Journal of Medicine)? Is it from a .edu or .gov? Is there a company or organization taking responsibility for the content?
  • Why?-- Why was this content written? Is it facts to inform? Is it opinions/biased to persuade? What type of language is used (ex: scholarly and technical vs. popular and common)?  Does it include research? 
  • What?-- What is the project you are working on? Do you need facts or opinions? Do you need current or historical information? Do you need scholarly information? 

As with any piece of information, the credibility or usefulness of a source will vary based on your need and the specific article in question. 

If you have a specific article you would like to discuss or additional questions about how to determine credibility, please contact your Campus Library/ARC.

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