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Information Literacy Tutorial

A module-based information literacy tutorial that addresses each stage of the research process, including selecting a topic, identifying information needs, selecting sources, locating information, evaluating information, and citing sources.


Ask yourself: 

  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Does the author have expertise on the subject?

 How can you find out?

  • Look at the source to see if it tells you anything about the author's credentials. Does the author have expertise in the area you are researching?
  • Look for information about the person. What else has the author written on this topic?
  • Read a critical review. A review will often give information about the author.
  • Many Internet sources do not give the identity or credentials of the author or producer. Sources that do not give this information have questionable reliability.


Ask yourself:

  • Does the author refer to other works?
  • Does the source have a bibliography?

 How can I find out?

  • Does the author support his or her statements with data or references to research?
  • Look at the end of the source for a bibliography or list of references.

Review Process

Ask yourself:

  • If the source is a periodical article, was it peer reviewed (refereed) or reviewed by an editorial board?
  • If the source is a book, what is the reputation of the publisher?
  • If it is from the Internet, was there any review process at all? Was it critically reviewed after it was written?

How can I find out?

To find out whether a journal is peer reviewed or refereed, try one of these resources:

Information may be published by an association, a university press, a commercial publisher, or a government. If you know something about the publisher, you can often identify bias and point of view. Try one of these resources to learn about the publisher:

  • The publisher's web page
  • Publishers, Distributers & Wholesalers of the United States (paper book, found in the Reference collection, call number REF Z475 .P86)
  • Many Internet sources are not reviewed before being posted; however, government, educational, and organizational sites have some sort of review process. If no review process is stated or evident, you may assume there is none.
  • Read a critical review of the book, movie, or music.


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