Module 4: Evaluating Information
Authority: Author CredentialsMake sure that the person who wrote the item you are evaluating is qualified. Although it may sometimes be difficult to locate information about an author, it is helpful to look at an author's credentials. Look for credentials such as:
- An advanced degree or PhD in their field
- Their title (such as Chief Information Officer for Motorola or President of Amnesty International)
- Their academic positions or affiliations with institutions of higher learning or think tanks
- Has the author written other books or articles on the same or a similar topic
- Have they received an award (like the Pulitzer or Nobel Prize)
These credentials do not provide authority across the board but apply to a specific area of expertise. An author with a PhD in Physiology is not necessarily qualified to write about parenting skills. The president of Amnesty International is not necessarily qualified to recommend medical procedures. A faculty member at Harvard School of Business is not necessarily qualified to talk about the Holocaust.