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Evaluating Information Sources: Activity: assessing source quality

Online tutorial developed to help build skills in evaluating the quality of information sources


Before we look at some of the criteria that you can use to evaluate your information sources, the activity below allows you to test your current judgment by giving you the opportunity to rank three different sources on their academic quality

For the purpose of this activity, the topic being researched is:

The effects of regular coffee consumption on long-term health in adults.

Researching a topic such as this would require an extensive search for any relevant literature that already exists on the subject.

Activity: assessing source quality

The academic quality of information available online can vary significantly. Searching for information on the above research topic brings up a wide range of search results, including the three articles below:

Source 1A research project published in the British Medical Journal, evaluating evidence on the effects of coffee consumption on a range of health outcomes.

Source 2An article from the Express Online outlining aspects of human health that can be detrimentally effected by excessive caffeine consumption.

Source 3A news item from the University of Southampton highlighting the relationship between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of liver cancer.

Take a look at each of these articles, then complete the activity in the next box, where you can rank each article by its academic quality.

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