Marymount California University Library

ECO/HIS 135: Global Development

Source accuracy and reliability

  • Consult and cite more than one source. If you have a government source, look for other research or discussion to support it or to provide a different viewpoint.  
  • Check author or witness credentials.  For authors or witnesses look for biographical information that includes education, training, and previous positions.  What other publications are credited to the person? What type of publications have they appeared in?
  • Is the topic one of partisan debate?  Have FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests been involved?  Be aware of particularly contentious issues and who is speaking to them.

*This information was reproduced from the Washington State University Libraries, the complete guide can be found here.

Identifying bias

When conducting research as well as In your daily life, you will encounter countless information sources, from books and articles to television to the internet....

It is paramount to your research to be able to evaluate the source so you can understand when and where it is appropriate to use that source. This skill is vital when you are conducting academic research as well as being an informed citizen.

Understanding a source's bias, from who is funding the research to the motives of the organization, will help you evaluate that source.
In this guide, you will find several different resources for identifying bias in articles, books and government information.

Evaluating Sources

One way to detect bias is by examining the source of the information - or who is providing funding to different information sources. You can often identify bias in a news source after asking these questions:

Who owns and/or produces the resource?

Does the resource have a particluar mission or goal?

Is there an apparent political lean?

How will that influence the selection and reporting of stories?

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