Evaluating sources is a crucial step in the process of library research. Whether you're looking at a web page, citation, a physical item or an electronic version of a book, article or review, ask yourself the same questions. Is it a useful, reliable resource for your specific research need? Why?
You're responsibile to establish the accuracy of resources
you find and use.
When evaluating a book, look for these:
The date - how old is the book, has newer information be published since this book was published? In some fields, especially the sciences, information changes rapidly making older books less useful.
Edition - has a newer edition come out, making the information in the book outdated?
Publisher - Books published by university presses tend to be scholarly
Content/Coverage - Does the book update other sources or give new information about the topic?
Writing style - Is the book organized logically, is there an index or table of contents? Is the book easy to read?
Author's credentials - what are the author's credentials?
Reviews - locate reviews of the book (try Proquest, Academic Search Premier or JStor) and see what others in the field thought of the book.
Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY, 14208