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Evaluating Sources

Assess sources for relevancy and reliability

Evaluating Your Sources: Date of Publication

Publication Date
Is the work considered a classic or do you need updated sources?

Use reference sources in your field to determine seminal works

Use a database such as Williams WorldCat to determine dates of different editions and translations

If your topic is very current or new developments happen frequently:

  • Is the information current enough for the topic?
  • Are the cited references current?

It matters which discipline; science papers need up-to-the-minute information, while social studies projects can use works published years ago; humanities papers often rely on sources decades or centuries old. Be sure to use reference works to find out which are the seminal works in your area.