Determining the Reliability of the Author

An important part of evaluating the information you find is establishing the credibility of the author

  • Who is the author? Can you find any identifying information about the author
    • in the journal where the article appears?
    • in the book in which the author's writing appears?
    • or at the web site where the author's document is mounted?
  • Can you find information to help you recognize if this person is knowledgeable in the topic area?
    • Is any background given about the author?
    • Is his or her affiliation given (i.e., where is the author employed?)
    • Does the information provided give you confidence that the author is an expert in this area?
  • Have you seen this article, book or web page used and cited by other authors writing on this topic?
    • The credibility of the author will be much higher if others have found the author's work to be worth citing or reviewing.
  • What do other experts in the field say about the author?
    • Can you find reviews of the piece (particularly if it is a book or web site)?

Click here to learn more about how to find book reviews.