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LIS2004 Research Strategies for College Students | Prof. Richardson


Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • evaluate information sources for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose
  • differentiate between credible and noncredible sources of information

Information Literacy Competencies

You will apply and learn about information literacy competencies while completing this learning module.

  • The primary competency related to this module is Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • The primary knowledge practice is to define different types of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), societal position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event)
Why Evaluate Sources

Why do you need to evaluate sources? Isn’t everything on the internet correct? Not by a long shot!  

You are bombarded with information just about every moment of your day.

Website logos

Web 2.0 icons by Pietro Zanarani is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Media Bias Chart

Choosing the Best Sources

How can you choose the best sources for your research?  Watch these videos to learn more!

(1:42, permission obtained directly from rights holder)



Evaluation Tools


(1:56, Creative Commons License)



(5:56, Creative Commons License)


Five Ws of Evaluation

(5:33, standard YouTube license)


Review the RADAR evaluation method:

Evaluate sources with RADAR: Rationale, Authority, Date, Accuracy, Relevance

Optional RADAR evaluation checklist:

Fake News

Fake News

Perhaps you have heard the terms “fake news”, “misinformation”, and “alternative facts” lately. Let’s find out more.

You need to evaluate your news sources in the same way you evaluated your research sources. To help you, I’ve included this infographic from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  

Be wary of links that have been reposted on your Facebook or Twitter feeds, particularly the ones that have shocking headlines. Those are called “click bait” and are meant to get you to click through to a site…and sometimes it may take you to a site you don’t want to be on.

Stop and think about what you are reading. Does it agree with what you have read elsewhere or learned in class? Does it go against your core personal beliefs or strongly reinforce them?

How to Spot Fake News; Consider the Source, Read Beyond, Check the Author, Supporting Sources?, check the Date, Is it a Joke?, Check your Biases, Ask the Experts

‚Äč(How To Spot Fake News by IFLA, permission to distribute)

Viewing List

Watch these to learn more:

(3:41, TedEd, Standard YouTube License)

LibGuide Resources

Understanding & Identifying Fake News LibGuide


In this module, you have learned how to:

  1. Evaluate information sources for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose
  2. Differentiate between credible and noncredible sources of information

Pick one of the following websites and analyze it using one of the previously mentioned methods. Is it a good source for college-level research?