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LibrarySkills@UCL: Evaluating information

A guide to evaluating sources of information.

Evaluating information

Understanding how to critically evaluate credibility and usefulness of information is more important than ever today, when we are faced with the challenges of disinformation, fake news and generative AI.

At any stage of your academic journey, you need to be able to verify the information you use in your research and writing. You need to consider how the information relates to your topic and other resources available on the subject. Citing appropriate and credible sources shows the breadth and depth of your academic expertise.

In this guide you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognise scholarly sources of information relating to a particular context;
  • Develop skills which will allow you to critically evaluate information and assess its relevance, reliability and validity;
  • Understand metrics that can be used to measure the quality of information and research.

"Even peer-reviewed journals make mistakes, academics seldom agree and all research is influenced by its context. How can you know which texts to trust? Learning how to critically evaluate the scholarly literature (as well as other sources of information!) is a crucial part of finding your way through academic reading and writing. Library resources can help you weigh multiple arguments and information sources, and support you to be transparent in your own work about where your ideas and information came from."
Emily Dawson
UCL Department of Science & Technology Studies