Research 101: UConn Information Literacy Competency Modules UConn Information Literacy Competency Modules

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Author's Credibility

Do you believe everything you read? Knowing more about an author can help you judge her or his credibility.

If you were writing about the relationship between human activity and the temperature of the earth, whose work would you choose to include in your paper? Look for clues that suggest their level of expertise and/or bias.

A. An atmospheric physicist at Winston University and founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, a think tank on climate and environmental issues


B. A Washington Post staff writer who was written articles such as "Arctic Ice Shelf Crumbles Into Sea," "In Infrastructure Debate, Politics Is Key Player," and "President's Reform Efforts Get Results."


C. Current president of Greater Chipiwick Enviromental Club, and publisher of a website that discusses the major causes of global warming in the last 100 years.

The Publisher's Credibility

Similar to judging an author's credentials, knowing more about a publishing company can help you understand their potential biases. Keep in mind that publishing standards vary for each publishing house. XYZ Publishing may print anything that will bring a profit, whereas H. University Press may screen all information they publish to ensure the validity of the content, protecting their reputation.

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