How Do You Check the Reliability of Sources of Information?
Hi everyone, it’s me, Source-finding Sarah! I hope that you tried my previous quiz about sources of information. Today, we will learn how to check the reliability of these sources!
Please read the short article below, before you START THE QUIZ.
You may come across many primary and secondary sources of information while doing research for your homework or project work. How can you be sure if the sources you find are trustworthy and credible?
Check the Author’s Background
One way to ascertain a source’s reliability is by its author. Is the author an expert on the topic? For example, if you were looking for information on global warming, an article written by a climate scientist is most likely more credible than one that was not. You could also search online to see if the author is affiliated with any reputable scientific agencies or institutions, or if they have cited his or her work. Information from such organisations, for instance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the National Centers for Environmental Information, would be considered as credible.
Reliable Sources of Information
One place you can get reliable sources of information from is the library! You can refer to books or authoritative magazines (such as those published by reputable scientific institutions) for your research. These publications often include references that you can check out for further reading. Some of these materials are even available online on the National Library Board’s eResources. The OverDrive (nlb.overdrive.com) platform is one of them. All you need is a myLibrary ID in order to access these eResources!
You can also search through different credible newspapers for information. Reputable newspapers will fact check reports and correct errors made by their reporters. A good place to start your newspaper search is at NewspaperSG (eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers), which allows you online access to older Singapore Press Holdings’ newspapers. For current news, you can use PressReader which is part of NLB’s eResources. It also contains newspapers from other countries.
Of course, now, information is at our fingertips thanks to the Internet. The web has largely become our first port of call when it comes to searching for information. However, with the vast amount of information available online, you must be extra careful that the websites you cite are authoritative or affiliated to credible organisations. This is to ensure that what you are reading can be trusted. One way to verify if an online source of information is reliable is to check the website. It should be from reputable educational institutions or government organisations.
Now that you have a better idea of how to ensure that your sources of information are reliable, take this quiz to test your knowledge!
You can access the quiz HERE.