Skip to Main Content

JCU logoLibrary Guides

Evaluating Sources

A guide to evaluating the credibility of the sources of information you use in your assignments.


The credibility of your assignment rests on the credibility of the resources you have used to support your arguments. Before you include a resource you need to evaluate it to consider if it is appropriate for a university level assignment.

This guide suggests areas that you may choose to consider when evaluating resources. Of course there are many exceptions to any rule so ultimately it is up to you to decide on the appropriateness of each resource.

For more information on evaluating authority, bias, accuracy, currency, utility and peer-review click on the tabs in the left-hand column.

 Gauging credibility

Gauging credibility graphic [View a larger version of the graphic in a new tab by clicking on the image]

Ask yourself questions to determine if your information resources are low, medium or high quality. Who is the target audience? What gives it authority? Is it peer-reviewed? Is the content biased? How accurate is it? How current is it?

Download text alternatives:

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.