Evaluating Information: Evaluation criteria

Use What Where or Not at All

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Inforgraphic titled 'Evaluating Criteria'. The full text of this infographic is reproduced in the section to the left of the image.

Criteria for evaluating information

It is important that you know how to check that the information you are using to complete assessment tasks is: authoritative, accurate, current and relevant to your assessment requirements.

Evaluate information from books, journal articles or websites using each of the criteria listed below.   

Authority Accuracy Currency Relevance

Authority - who is the author or creator of the information and what are their credentials? 

  • Is the author of the information clearly stated?
  • Is the author an established expert in this field of study, have they published widely on the topic? 
  • Is the author affiliated with a University or other institution, organisation or company?

  • Is the  journal article peer-reviewed?

  • Who is the publisher and why have they published this information? 

Accuracy - is the information accurate? 

  • What evidence is included to support the author's claims? 
  • Are the facts and figures presented referenced?
  • Is a reference list or bibliography included? 

Currency - how up to date is the information? 

In some topic areas currency is more important than others for example in technology, medical and scientific disciplines the most up to date information is usually required. 

  • When was the information written or published? 
  • How often has it been updated?
  • When was it last updated?
  • If it is a book or an eBook, is this the latest edition? 
  • Is the information up to date for the topic?

Relevance - will the information be useful for your assessment task? 

  • Does the information cover my topic in sufficient depth?
  • Does the information meet the marking criteria for my assessment task?
  • Are you looking for a fact or an opinion? For example: Are you seeking a range of views on the justice system in Australia, or are you looking for an expert analysis and facts and figures about incarceration rates in Victoria?