IRIS: Evaluate Information A.S.A.P.
A.S.A.P. means fast!
Don’t waste your time with information you can’t trust. Use this fast, easy way to evaluate information.
- A is for Author.
- Sometimes it’s not easy to find author credentials.
- But if credibility is essential, take time to learn about the author.
- Credentials can include education, expertise, reputation, and other works by the author.
- S is for Sources.
- If there aren’t any sources, it’s not a research article.
- But it could still be credible.
- Popular sources (newspapers and magazines) rarely cite sources.
- Look for other clues to determine the credibility.
- A list of sources is a clue that the article is credible, and can also lead you to more information.
- You should also look at the quality of the sources and the number of sources.
- A is for Age
- Is the information the right age for your needs?
- Is it too old?
- How current is current enough?
- For information the answer is: it depends.
- Rule of Thumb:
- 5 years, maximum: medicine, health, technology, science
- 10-20 years: history, literature, art
- P is for Publisher
- Look for publisher credentials.
- Journals, Magazines, Books: Look up the name of the publisher in a search engine to find the publisher. Do they publish other things on the same subject?
- Websites: Examine the site for information about the publisher, or sponsor, of the site. Often in “About Us.”
- Many publishers, especially university presses, specialize in academic titles. Examples:
- Oxford University Press
- University of Utah Press
- Blackwell Publishers