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KIN 655: Research Methods for PHETE

Sometimes it can be hard to evaluate a source for credibility and applicability to your needs. There are lots of frameworks out there with questions to ask yourself when reviewing your source to better evaluate it. These are some of our favorites!

The Personal Steps

I - Identify
Do you have any emotions around this topic?

F - Find
What sources will provide as unbiased as possible overview of the topic?


I - Intellectual Courage
Am I looking outside my comfort zone to find the best information? If not, what can I do to help myself find those sources?


The Source Steps

A - Authority
What authority or expertise does this author have to write about this topic?

P - Purpose/POV
What agenda might the author have? Is this educational or persuasive or propaganda?

P - Publisher
Who published this work? What might their motive be for publishing it?

L - List of Sources
Do they have citations? Are they accessible and reliable?

Y - Year
How does the year affect the information?


Framework from Phillips, K. (2019). IF I APPLY. Retrieved from

Who wrote this?

What kind of document is this?

When was this document written?

Where does the information come from?

Why was this written?

How was this information gathered and presented?


Framework and questions from Radom, R. (2017, January 04). Evaluating Information Sources Using the 5 Ws. OER Commons. Retrieved from

R - Relevance
Think about how the resource relates to your topic. Does it answer your question? Who is it written for? Have you looked at other information to compare relevance?

A - Authority
Think about the author or source of the resource. Who are they and what credentials do they have?

D - Date
How current or timely is the information? Has it been updated?

A - Appearance
Think about how reliable the resource is. Is there evidence to support the argument, where did that evidence come from? Has it been peer-reviewed? Is it biased? Are there grammar or spelling errors?

R - Reason
Think about why this resource exists. What is the purpose, and is that purpose clear? Does it aim to inform, sell, entertain, persuade, etc? Is it objective or subjective? What biases might be at play?


Based on the work of Jane Mandalios. Retrieved from



This video from NCSU Libraries is a good starting point to how to evaluate sources you find in your research. Below are some other frameworks that help you think through this process. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me!