Skip to Main Content

Evaluating sources: Types of formats

Criteria to consider when evaluating information for research.

What is a source?

A work, etc., supplying information or evidence (esp. of an original or primary character) as to some fact, event, or series of these. Also, a person supplying information, an informant, a spokesman OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2019.

In other words, information of any sort from a variety of formats: books, articles from magazines/journals, web sites, podcasts, videos, people, reports, news, etc.  Also information, evidence, or facts the researcher uses to substantiate an argument.


Printed materials, library online databases, and web sites can contain information from:

Articles from academic journals - - articles written by and for researches and other experts in a field.

Articles from magazines or newspapers - articles written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience.

Audio and video recordings

Books/eBooks - academic books can be edited/written by an expert or group of experts. Some books are written by journalists or professional writers. A book is likely to include an overview of research or issues related to its topic.

Documents from a family or organization

Government documents; for example, U.S. Census data


Music scores

Photographs or illustrations


Statistical tables

Transcripts of speeches

Find credible information here

Google Web Search