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Evaluating Information

Learn the tools you need for evaluating information sources.

Know your info

What do you really know about the information you use? Is it reliable? Can you trust the source? Use the tutorials and tips included in this guide to figure out if the information source you have found is reliable and trustworthy. It is difficult to do this in some cases, so do not hesitate to ask a librarian for help if you are not sure if a particular source should be used for your project. 

The ABC Test

Use the ABC test as a quick way to help you determine the credibility of an information source such as a website, article, or book. 


The source of the information

  • Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • What do others have to say about the resource? Use lateral reading! 
    • Search the Internet for information about the resource.
    • Don't just rely on the information presented by the resource itself.


The purpose and point of view of the information

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, to teach, to sell, to entertain?
  • Do the authors or sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are multiple perspectives included? 
  • What bias do you bring to the topic? Are you only looking for sources that confirm your current beliefs?

Be Aware of Confirmation Bias

"The first step in countering confirmation bias is to recognize it in ourselves. Then we can guard against it by getting our news from a wide range of credible sources, reading opinion columns from a variety of viewpoints, and including these varied perspectives in our social media posts."

From the News Literacy Project - "Don't Let Confirmation Bias Narrow Your Perspective."


The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current or historical information?
  • Don't forget the basics!
    • Are the links functional? Do they take you to updated information sources?
    • Are there lots of spelling and grammatical errors?


CARDIO = Currency. Authority. Relevance. Documentation. Information Type. Objectivity.

This is another method that you can use to evaluate resources. It is more thorough than the ABC Test in that is asks you more questions in order to help you determine if a resource is right for your project.

Adapted from the C.A.R.D.I.O. Evaluation Handout by Hamlett and Lacey, Guttman Community College OER collection in CUNY Academic Works and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License.