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Evaluate your sources

Why is authority important?

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.

Authors (books and journal articles)

Author information is usually on the back of a book 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

Publishers (books and journals)

Publisher information is usually on the title page of a book and on a journal's homepage.

There are several ways to identify reputable publishers:

 ​Screenshot of Ulrichs web database

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