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Evaluating Information: A.S.P.E.C.T

A guide to evaluating information designed and created by Clark Librarians

Evaluate Every A.S.P.E.C.T

A: Authority

  • Is there an author’s name?
  • Can you locate the author’s credentials?
  • Can you find evidence of author expertise in the subject?
  • Have you located similar works by this author?
  • Do you have personal recommendations for this author?
  • Do you know the publisher’s credentials and reputation?
  • Are there similar works from this publisher?

S: Sources

  • Is information presented as fact?  If yes…
    • Does the author provide documentation? (Bibliography, footnotes, links, etc.)
  • If documentation/sources are included, are they from credible sources?

P: Purpose

  • Was this source written to inform and educate?
  • Does the source argue a perspective or specific opinion?
  • Is the source intended to entertain or sell?
  • Is the content aimed at a general audience, or is it written for readers with expertise in the subject?
  • Is the source too basic, too technical, too advanced?
  • Is the source just right for your research needs?                 

E: Evenness

  • Does the author recognize other points of view?
  • Is the information presented objective?
  • If the source is biased, does the author acknowledge the bias?

C: Coverage

  • Is the information new? Does it support what you have found in other sources?
  • Is the source comprehensive or inclusive enough for your needs?
  • Does this source provide information that is relevant to your needs?

T: Timeliness

  • When was the source published?
  • Is the date appropriate for your topic?

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

This short video gives more examples of evaluating the authority, evenness, and timeliness of a source.

Printable Handout


thumbnail of the A.S.P.E.C.T. Handout

ASPECT: authority, sources, purpose, evenness, coverage, timeliness

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