Answered By: Katie Hutchison
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2016     Views: 269

The credibility of an author is very important in determining the quality of sources you have located and are thinking of using for your research project.  If you want to determine if a book author is credible, check the foreword/preface/introduction of the book.  These sections usually provide information on the author's expertise.  You can also check the online Library Catalog to see what other books the author has written on the topic or related topics, or look for biographical information about the author (in the catalog, do a subject search by Last name, First name of author).  Book reviews from credible sources are also a good place to check.

An author of a scholarly (or academic) article will usually include his/her credentials or affiliations. You can search our Databases to see other articles the author has written.  You can also search Google Scholar for the author and article.  Google Scholar provides a feature that will tell you how often the article has been cited by others (a high number of citations is a good indicator that the author is credible).  Another feature in Google Scholar is the ability to link to an author's profile.

Websites prove the most challenging as they do not give much information about authors or creators.  First check to see if there is an author listed on the site.  Then check to see if there is an "About Me/Us" link.  You should also check to see that the website is updated regularly and who hosts the website (a .com, a .edu, .gov?).  You may also want to search the web for the author.  And again, you can also search the online library catalog and Research Databases to see what else the author has written.

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