STEPS Library Support

Library information and help for Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) students

How to evaluate information and information sources

When determining which information sources should be used and whether the information found is appropriate to use, it is important to consider:

  • task requirements
  • quality of the content

Various criteria can be used to evaluate the quality of what has been found.  Click on the links below to find criteria that can help you make informed decisions about the information and information sources you should use.

Just as there are many criteria for evaluating the quality of websites, there are also many criteria for evaluating the quality of books, journals and other resources. 

The acronym, RAOC, refers to a list of criteria that you might find helpful when evaluating information and resources:

R = relevance (Is the information relevant to my research topic and what aspects of my research topic does it cover?)

A = authority (Is the author/organisation trustworthy and have they shown where they obtained their information?)

O = objectivity (Does the resource present the facts in a balanced way?)

C = currency (When was the information published?)


Watch the video Scholarly versus non-scholarly resources, produced by the University of Sydney Library, for an explanation of the REVIEW process, and resources being evaluated using this process.

Additional information about evaluating particular resources such as books, journals, journal articles and websites can be found at the links below: