Evaluating Information Based on Verifiability

by Barbara J. Feldman on June 5, 2008

Get in the habit of confirming information with a second reliable source.

Get in the habit of confirming information with a second reliable source.

Verifiability of content that is written means that you can confirm the material with a second reliable source. Verifiability of details is an important part of the evaluation process, especially when you are reading the material that is written from an unfamiliar author presented by an unfamiliar organization. Evaluating information based on verifiability is important and you should be familiar how to do it correctly. Here are some tips in evaluating information based on verifiability:

There are several reasons you might want to evaluate information based on its verifiability:

•The author has a record of producing inaccurate or misleading information.
•The author has a conflict of interest.
•There are other errors in the article, and the entire thing needs to be checked.
•The article is extremely inaccurate.
•There are many errors in the document.
•The statement is implausible.
•The material is overly vague.

Things to look for when evaluating information based on verifiability:

For a research document:

•In the document there should be data that was gathered and an explanation of the research methods that were used to gather and interpret it. Opinions or advice should be clearly separate from information that is based on research results.

•The information outlined in the document is appropriate to the topic and allows the study to be copied in order to confirm it.

•The document relies on other sources that are listed in a bibliography or includes links to these documents themselves. All facts and figures should have references.

•The document names individuals and sources that provided non- published data used in the preparation of the study.

•The background information that was used can be verified easily to check for accuracy.

•The site should describe the evidence that the material is based on.

•Currency and authority are elements in determining verifiability and accuracy. Make sure the material is current and was written by a professional source.

For Internet resources:

Anyone can make an Internet site without going through a review process first. Many people have the thinking that material found on the Internet is more accurate than that found in books and other print resources. Don’t be mistaken, this is not at all true! So, it’s critical to judge and evaluate the veracity of the information on the Internet even more cautiously than you do print resources. Here are some things to look for:

•How reliable and free from error is the information on the site?
•Are the author’s methods for obtaining data or conducting research clearly stated so that the study may be duplicated?
•Does the author show that they have knowledge of scientific theories and techniques?
•Is the source a noted expert in the area? Is the information written in academic standards?
•Is the source notable?
•Does the source stand for a large group of people?

Verifiability is one problem with articles on the Internet. If an article covers a subject that has never been written about in published sources, or which has only been written about in sources where the credibility isn’t good, it is difficult to verify the information.

Evaluating information based on verifiability is important to make sure that the material you are researching is reliable and accurate. Make sure when looking at information either on the Internet or any printed material, that you evaluate it and make sure you can trust it. Following these things on evaluating information based on verifiability is a great way to ensure you are getting information that you can trust and depend on. Take time to evaluate everything you read and make sure you aren’t wasting your time on something that isn’t true or that wasn’t written by a reputable organization or an educated expert.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Evaluating Information Based on Verifiability." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 5 Jun. 2008. Web. 16 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1401/evaluating-information-based-on-verifiability/ >.


  • shweta

    This information was very relevant. Thank you so much!