- What are the author's credentials--institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience? Is the book or article written on a topic in the author's area of expertise?
- Has your instructor mentioned this author? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Respected authors are cited frequently by other scholars.
- Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization?
B. Date of Publication
- When was the source published? This date is often located on the face of the title page below the name of the publisher. If it is not there, look for the copyright date on the reverse of the title page. On Web pages, the date of the last revision is usually at the bottom.
- Is the source current or out-of-date for your topic? Topic areas of continuing and rapid development, such as business, demand current information.
C. Edition or Revision
Is this a first edition of this publication or not? Further editions indicate a source has been revised and updated to reflect changes in knowledge, include omissions, and harmonize with its intended reader's needs. Also, many printings or editions may indicate that the work has become a standard source in the area and is reliable. If you are using a Web source, do the pages indicate revision dates?
Note the publisher. If the source is published by a university press, it is likely to be scholarly. Although the fact that the publisher is reputable does not necessarily guarantee quality, it does show that the publisher may have high regard for the source being published.
E. Title of Journal/Resource
Is this a scholarly or a popular journal? This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas.
***author credit to Research & Learning Services, Olin Library, Cornell University LibraryIthaca, NY, USA