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Evaluating Articles: Checklist

A printable list of questions to ask yourself when evaluating articles

Authority: Who is the author?

  • Is the author listed?
  • Is the author an expert in their field? (Are there credentials listed?)
  • What else has the author published, and is it cited often by others?
  • Has he/she written a substantial amount of work which indicates expertise in their area?

Purpose: Who is the intended audience? 

  • Is the article published in a scholary journal or a popular journal? (For more on this, see the Scholarly vs. Popular Journals page under the Articles topic)
  • For what purpose was the work published?

Coverage and content: How useful is the article?

  • How well does it cover your topic?
  • Are all sides of the issue represented or is the article biased?
  • Is there a bibliography?

Currency: When was the work published?

  • Was the information recently published or updated?  For some topics, like law, the most current information can be crucial.  The type of assignment or the topic you are working on will dictate how current your resources need to be.