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Evaluating Sources

Assess sources for relevancy and reliability

Evaluating Your Sources: Author / Creator

Personal Author
Who wrote this work?  What are her / his qualifications? 


Locate what else this person has written: search multidisciplinary and subject-specific databases

  • Many articles on unrelated topics? May indicate author is not an expert
  • Note the writer's institutional affiliation -- university? political group? non-profit?
  • Find biographical information: use biographical databases and the author's institutional web site
Group / Organization Author
Who is the group that authored this work?


Investigate mission, sources of funding, connections to other business, political, and social organizations (see links below)

  • Kennedy School at Harvard Think Tank Directory 
  • SourceWatch: Directory of people and organizations shaping the public agenda. Project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

Organization Search

Think Tank Search is a custom Google search of more than 450 think tank websites selected by The Harvard Kennedy School of Government Library. See their website for information on the inclusion policy and links to U.S. and international think tank websites.

Evaluating Organizations