Western Libraries


Evaluating Resources

RADAR is a framework for evaluating information created by Jane Mandalios of the American College of Greece in 2013. RADAR strives to be an information evaluation framework, not a be-all and end-all requirement. If an information source raises concern on your RADAR, there is probably a good reason, and there may be a problem with the information. RADAR can help you remember what questions to ask to determine if a source of information is good for your research. If you are still unsure at the end of your search, do not be afraid to contact the library and ask for a help.

Use Your RADAR: Evaluating Information  RADAR: Relevance, Authority, Date, Appearance, Reason Relevance: Information must be relevant for it to matter to your research. If there is zero relevance, keep looking! “Does this information answer my research question?” “Is this information related to my topic?” “What is the intended audience of this information?” “Is this from my discipline? If not, is it okay to cite interdisciplinary work?”  Authority: Assessing the credibility of the creator of a work is important. This applies to the author, the publisher, and any other person or body responsible for creation of the information at hand. “Who created this information? Who did they cite?” “Is the author a prominent scholar in the field?” “Who is the author affiliated with? An institution or business?” “Does anyone else cite this author?” “Is there contact information included? Can/Should I contact the author for more information?”  Date: Currency is important because information can quickly become outdated. However, just because something is “old” does not mean it is necessarily “bad”. It all depends on the discipline/topic. A good rule of thumb is within the past 10 years, but use your best judgement. “When was this information created or last updated?” “Do I require the most up-to-date information?” “Is the information outdated or irrelevant?” “Does my field require the latest and greatest?” “If older, is this a seminal or landmark study?” “Could I still use this for historical context?”  Appearance: How the information is presented can often indicate whether or not the source is reputable or scholarly. Academic works are usually professional looking with little advertising, employing the same general model (abstract, citations, etc.) “Is the information presented in a professional/academic manner?” “Is this information presented similar to other scholarly formats?” “Is the information peer-reviewed? In an academic journal?” “Are there references to support the author’s argument? Are they accurate?”  Reason: Understanding why the information was created in the first place is critical to evaluating its quality. “Why is this information available?” “Was this information created to inform, sell, educate, entertain, or persuade?” “Is the information presented in an academic journal?” “Is this a research study? Does the author cite their methods? Their data?” “Is the authors intention for publishing this information clear?”  Adapted from Jane Mandalios (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal of Information Science, 39 (4), 470-478.  Powered by Piktochart: make information beautiful