Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017     Views: 26

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines the word credible as "offering reasonable grounds for being believed." A credible source, then, is one that you can reasonably believe to be true.

You can use the following five criteria to help you determine if the source offers those "reasonable grounds" for credibility:

  • Currency: Is the content presented current enough for your project?
  • Relevancy:  Does it answer your question or contribute to your research?
  • Accuracy: Is the information provided correct?
  • Authority: Does the author have expertise on the topic about which he/she is writing?
  • Purpose or Objectivity: Is there bias or a slant given to the information provided?

For more information on evaluating sources, check out our Evaluating Sources research guide. 

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