Unit 8: Evaluating Books & Articles
Lesson 2: Authority
First consider who published the book or article you have found. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if the resource was written by a credible author.
- What are the author’s credentials? Look for biographical information about the author at the beginning and end of your resource. Where does the author work? What is his or her position? What is the author’s educational background?
- Can you verify the author’s credentials? Look for information about the author’s knowledge of the resource’s subject. Is the author qualified to publish on the subject? Is the author an expert in his or her field? What else has the author published? Has the author won any awards or honors?
- Can you find the author listed in a reliable resource? Is the author cited in other resources or bibliographies? Scholars often cite fellow scholars. Check biographical resources such as Contemporary Authors, Biography and Genealogy Master Index and the database Biography Resource Center for information about your author. Also check citation indices, which provide bibliographic information and cited references for authors in specific fields.
- Is the author affiliated with an organization? Is the author affiliated with a university, organization, or corporation? Answering this question will help establish why the author published the work, and in turn, his or her credibility.
continue to next page >