With today’s information overload it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish if something is reliable or not. How can you evaluate the accuracy of the information you find? One method you can use to decide whether or not you should use the resources you find is called F.A.C.T.
F – Find articles, books, websites.
A – Ask who wrote this, when was it published, what type of resource is it? (For example, a blog post may be interesting, but usually not appropriate to include in a research paper.)
C – Check the authors, publication, and organization. (“Lateral reading” is a good method to use for this.)
T – Test claims and evidence, bias, and purpose of the information. (Is it to inform, educate, or sell something? Is it backed up by other sources?)
Visit our Evaluating Information subject guide to find more tools to use, along with information about fake news, lateral reading, and the benefits of using library databases.
-- Jodi Hilleshiem, Instruction & Electronic Resources Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org