Answered By: Hofstra Reference
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2023     Views: 208571

Strategies to determine an author's credibility vary by source:

Books:

  • The foreword/preface/introduction and back cover of the book usually provide information on the author's credentials/areas of expertise, etc.
  • Use Discovery to check what else the author has written: https://hofstra.on.worldcat.org/advancedsearch

Articles:

  • Newspapers and magazines are considered popular sources and are geared to a general audience.  Articles are usually written by journalists employed by the publication. 
  • Academic journals are written for experts in an academic field and the articles are contributed by scholars who are considered experts.  An author of a scholarly (or academic) article will usually include his/her credentials or affiliations.  You will also see references (footnotes, endnotes, etc.).  Check to see if the author has written other articles on this topic by searching in an appropriate article database.   
  • 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). 

Websites:

  • Usually do not give much information about authors or creators.
  • Check to see if there is an author listed on the site. 
  • 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. 
  • Use Discovery to check what else the author has written: https://hofstra.on.worldcat.org/advancedsearch

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