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Evaluate Information A.S.A.P.

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