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)?