Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Administration Building

Evaluating Print Sources

Once you have located resources, it is important to verify that they are reliable and trustworthy. You would not wish to base your paper or speech on information that is considered questionable.

The process to evaluate books or articles is simple: Locate information about the author, and a review of the book or journal.

How to qualify a book

Is the author well qualified?

  • Use the index to Contemporary Authors (Reference Index Area) or Gale Biography Resource Center to locate biographical information about the author.
  • Indexes to Contemporary Authors are located in the library's index area and online here.
  • If the author is not found, search the Internet, Gale Academic OneFile, EBSCOhost, or ask a Librarian.

How was the book reviewed by critics?

  • Check Book Review Digest (by author's last name) in the year of publication.
  • If no review is found, check the year before and after the year of publication.
  • If still no review is found, check Gale Academic OneFile or EBSCOhost for a review.

How to qualify a periodical article

Is the author well qualified?

  • Use the index to Contemporary Authors (Reference Index Area) or Gale Biography Resource Center to locate biographical information about the author
  • Indexes to Contemporary Authors are located in the library's index area and online here.
  • If the author is not found, search the Internet, Gale Academic OneFile, EBSCOhost, or ask a Librarian

What is the reputation of the periodical?

  • Using Magazines for Libraries (in the Reference Index Area), look up the title of the periodical in the Title Index in the back. (Tip: There are two indexes in the back; make sure you use the Title Index.)
  • Read the paragraph about the periodical.
    • Is it refereed (scholarly)?
    • Who is the audience for whom it is written?
    • Does it have a political or religious bias?
    • What is the reputation of the periodical?
    • Is it considered to be reliable or trustworthy?
  • If the periodical is not found in Magazines for Libraries, use the "publication information" in Gale Academic OneFile or EBSCOhost.
Kern Community College District