What it means for a source to be credible/reliable can vary depending on the context of its use.
- Generally, a credible or reliable source is one that experts in your subject area would agree is valid for your purposes. This can vary, so it is best to use one of the source evaluation methods that best fits your needs. (see below)
- It is important to critically evaluate sources because using credible/reliable sources makes you a more informed writer. Think about unreliable sources as pollutants to your credibility, if you include unreliable sources in your work, your work could lose credibility as a result.
Sometimes you need credible sources but not necessarily scholarly sources. You're probably wondering....so, what's the difference? In most ways they are the same.
- Scholarly sources are always considered credible sources but not all credible sources are scholarly.
- Credible sources can relate to any type of source, websites, books, interviews, film or articles.
- In order to determine if a source is credible you need to pay special attention to the details. You need to evaluate the source very carefully.
Source credit: University Libraries, University of Washington