Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.