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Information literacy - BSS: Introduction


How do you go about assessing the quality of information and information sources?

In your search for literature and other sources you will find all sorts of information, but this information is not all of the same quality. It is important to develop a critical approach that will enable you to evaluate the material properly.

The two main criteria for evaluating the information you find are relevance and reliability.

In this context, ‘relevance’ means the extent to which the information helps you to answer the research question. And in this context, ‘reliability’ means the extent to which you can rely on the information being correct.

In this chapter we explain how you can assess the quality of a source. We will discuss several criteria and give guidelines for assessing sources on the basis of these criteria.

Learning outcomes

After studying this section you will be familiar with the criteria that can be used to evaluate academic and other information sources, and you will be able to apply some of the criteria to the information you find.