Evaluating your material
You will need to be selective and critically evaluate any material you use. Things to look out for are:
Who is the author?
- Are they an expert in the field? Check what else they have written and see if you can find a biography.
- Are they an academic, a professional or a lobbyist?
- Could they have a bias? Look at the language they have used.
- Have they included a list of references?
Is the provider reliable?
- Is this self-published? Books can be self-published as well as websites and blogs.
- Do you know the publisher? What else have they published, are they recognised academic works? How long have the publishers been working in the field, do they have a good reputation?
- Are there political allegiances or company sponsorships? This can be evidence of bias.
How current is the material?
- When was the material written? Don't forget, books can take several years to be written and published, and peer-reviewed, academic articles will take longer to be published than a general news article.