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Evaluating your sources

Source credibility

How do you know if the information you have found is relevant or trustworthy?

It’s easy to find lots of information when you’re searching, but this doesn’t mean that it is reliable and credible information, or useful for academic research.

(Produced by North Carolina State University Libraries, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Duration: 3:22 mins)

Finding information about authors, publishers and journals

Understanding who is responsible for the content of print resources can be very helpful in deciding whether the information is likely to be from a reputable author or publisher.


AUTHOR information is usually on the back of a book, on the jacket cover, or near the contents page. The Foreword of a book often includes reference to the status or accomplishments of the authors. The journal cover, or start of a journal article usually contains author information.

The USC Library has research databases which you can search for the publications by an author, to see if they are well published and cited (Scopus & Web of Science). This example is from Scopus:

Screenshot of Scopus author search

There are several ways to identify reputable PUBLISHERS:

 ​Screenshot of Ulrichs web database


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