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Nursing Students

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Currency

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given?
  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)?

Audience

Audience: The intended readers.

  • Who is this written for? (The general public? Scholars? Government officials?)
  • What kinds of vocabulary does the author use? Does it include professional or technical jargon?
  • Is it easy for anyone to understand, or does it require expertise?

Purpose

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?