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EAP1586 | Professor Porges-West

This guide contains resources for students of Professor Ileana Porges-West's EAP1586 course.

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Evaluation Strategies

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Stahura, Dawn.  “ACT UP: Evaluating Sources,”


Evaluating Websites (using the RADAR method)


R   Relevance
A   Authority
D   Date
A   Appearance
R   Reason for writing


Relevance: HOW is the information that you have found relevant to your assignment?
Authority: WHO is the author (this may be a person or an organization)

  •  What tells you that they are authoritative? What are their credentials?
    •  ls the author well known and respected?
    • Does the author work for a reputable institution, e.g. a university, research center or organization (e.g. NASA)?
    • Does the author have good qualifications and experience?
    • What does the "About Us" button tell you?
    • Is other information available about them (e.g. from Google)?
    • Does the URL of the site give you clues about authority?

                                      ► Look for names of reputable organizations in the URL
                                      ► Look at the endings of the web addresses: or .ac indicate universities (but be careful because these addresses may also be used by students:% or - before a     name indicates that the author is a student indicates official government sites indicates a non-profit organization


  •  Does knowing the authority of the site help you make a judgment about the ACCURACY of the information?
  • Even if you have doubts about the authority of the site, does it contain links to other authoritative or helpful sources?

Date: WHEN was the information published? Is the publication date important to you?
Appearance: WHAT CLUES can you get from the APPEARANCE of the source?

  • Does the information look serious and professional? Does it have citations and references?
  • Is it written in formal, academic language? Or does it look as if it was written by a nonprofessional?
  • Does it look as if it was published for children?  • Or to sell something?


Reason for writing: WHY did the writer publish this?

  • To produce a balanced, well-researched, professional piece of work to add to the body of knowledge?
  • Was it written as part of an ongoing debate, to counter an opposing claim?
  • Or is it for propaganda, and biased? Note: a biased or problematic site may still be useful to you; the key is to recognize its bias or limitations.
  • Or was it written in order to sell something? • Or is it a spoof site, written for fun?


Mandalios, Jane. “RADAR: An Approach for Helping Students Evaluate Internet Sources.” Journal of Information Science, vol. 39, no. 4,

2013, pp. 470–78,

Types of Internet Sites




Non-Profit | Advocacy


Business | Marketing


.gov, .mil






Government: federal, state, and local

Educational Institutions

Non-Profit Organizations

Newspapers, News Organizations


Restricted or Open








Mostly high

Can vary

Can vary




Can vary

Can vary





Usually low

Typically high



Fake News

You need to evaluate your news sources in the same way you evaluated your research sources. Here are some resources to guide you on how to evaluate your news sources:

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

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

(3:41, TedEd, Standard YouTube License)

(2:55, Standard YouTube license)

LibGuide Resources

Understanding & Identifying Fake News LibGuide