Publishing and sharing information has become more accessible. Academics has put up a number of hurdles to tackle mis- and disinformation from spreading, such as peer review. However journals, books and authors can be biased or prejudiced. How can you judge whether or not a publication or an internet site is trustworthy? Here you will find some useful leads to help you judge information.
It can be tempting to use material that is easy to understand and entertaining like blog posts or Youtube videos in your paper. What is tricky about using popular material instead of scholarly material? In these tutorials you can learn about the difference between scholarly and popular material:
You will be introduced to a variety of scholarly sources that are available to you for your research and information needs.
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It is important to ask yourself a number of questions while reading a source, such as: Who wrote the information? Why/When/Where did they publish it and can you find references to other publication about your topic? This follows a technique called lateral reading, where you first consider the container of the text, before you look at the text itself.
For information found solely online there is an additional method, called the SIFT method. In many cases it will take about 30 seconds to quickly check whether for example a news report is true.