Evaluating Information: Overview

Use What Where or Not at All

Why do I need to evaluate my information sources?

Being able to critically evaluate information is an essential research skill. There are many different types and sources of information available but how will you know that the information you find is relevant and reliable? 

Google vs. VU Library

Search engines are widely regarded as the most popular means of finding information. However, Google, Bing or Yahoo and other popular search engines should never be your only research tool.

How to spot fake news

Inforgraphic with tips for spotting fake news. Text of infographic is reproduced in this section.

What is fake news?

"Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word." (Drobnic Holan 2016).

This poster has been created by IFLA (CC BY 4.0) and is based on the fact check questions suggested by the Fact Check organisation. 

Using the checklist questions

Read a news item from the links provided below or select one from your subject area. 

Drug testing of welfare recipients

Climate change myths and reality

Now use each of the Fake News checks from the poster (right) to test out the news report.

1. Where is the article from? is it a reliable source.

2. Are there other sources for this news report. Compare what you find.

3. Who is the author. Are they qualified to write or speak about this issue?

4. Check out other links which may be embedded in the article.

5. Check for satire or joke content.

6. Do your own beliefs or  emotions affect the way you read the article? Challenge yourself to read from different perspectives. 

7. Fact check through a fact checking site, library databases and librarians. 


     This content is licensed to Victoria University under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.