Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Consider the Source: Is it popular? Is it scholarly? Is it something else? What kinds of sources do I need for this research project?
Compare and contrast these two sources, thinking about these things:
What do the two articles have in common?
Who wrote each article? Are they an expert or authority on the topic? Is the author or the information presented credible? Trustworthy?
Who published this?
For what type of audience is this written? (note vocabulary/jargon, writing style, depth of content, etc.)
Which one took longer to write? (Why might that matter?)
Are these "good" sources? Are they "reliable" sources? What makes a source "good" or "reliable"? How can we tell? Does it depend on context?
Source Types and Your Information Needs
Consider the following when it comes to what type of source you need for a particular assignment or task. You don't always need scholarly articles, but sometimes you do!
Consider the type of information a particular type of source is likely to have. For instance, if dealing with a very recent issue, newspapers or periodicals might be your best bet, as it can take a long time for the scholarly review process (typically).
And, here note the Examples, as well as the Criteria for types of sources.
Evaluating News Sources
Just because something is from a supposedly biased source, does that mean we disregard it altogether? Is the information true but presented deceptively? Can authors be biased? Can publications be biased?
Media Bias/Fact Check
What criteria does this website use to determine bias? What criteria or sources does it use to evaluate fact checking?
Why should we trust this website? Should we?
Look up some of your favorite news sources and see what it has to say.
Media Bias Chart
This is a useful chart to look at when considering media bias.
Ad Fontes Media, Inc. is a company founded in 2018 by Vanessa Otero, creator of the Media Bias Chart. The mission of Ad Fontes Media is “making news consumers smarter and news media better.”
Ad Fontes Media is incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) in Colorado. The stated public benefit of Ad Fontes Media is the same as its mission.
Ad Fontes is Latin for “to the source,” because at the heart of what Ad Fontes Media does is look at the source—analyze the very content itself—to rank it. We are not measuring consumer opinions, clicks and views, or “user engagement.” Plenty of other companies do that in order to sell ads, and we think that is part of the problem we face in the current media landscape.
Popular Vs. Scholarly Tutorial
Still not sure about what makes a source scholarly vs popular? Take this helpful and quick tutorial Here.