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Credibility Continuum: Introduction

With so much information readily available, how do you know what sources to trust? Use this guide to help determine the credibility of various information sources.

Overview and Definitions


The digital revolution has made information both readily available and easily accessible. However, learning to navigate through an abundance of information and determine the credibility of a source can be challenging. In this guide we have divided the criteria for evaluating sources into six categories:

  • Scholarly: Articles or books written and reviewed by scholars or professionals who are experts in their field
  • Substantive News and Non-Fiction: In depth reliable articles or books on topics of public concern written by journalists or authors for major newspapers, news magazines or publishers
  • Popular: Articles that reflect the tastes of the general public and are meant as entertainment
  • Advocacy: Articles or web pages from political parties, activist groups, or religious groups that promote a specific agenda
  • Personal: Blogs or personal web pages that reflect the opinions and interests of the author. May or may not be factually accurate
  • Sensational: Magazines such as the National Inquirer, TMZ, and Star that are intended to evoke curiosity or a strong reaction

We have also included a section on Evaluating Web Resources.

Click on the tabs above to learn more about each category of information.

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Creative Commons License
The Credibility Continuum by Eric Shannon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.