Questions to Consider When You First Encounter a Source
Who is the author?
What can you find out about their background? Are they affiliated with a university, a research organization, a preservation organization, or …. ?
Based on the author’s affiliations/background, what do you think their perspective will be? If the source has no author listed, what does that mean about the likely perspective of the source?
Who is the audience for the source (scholars, public, etc)?
What is the date of the source? How does that affect how you would interpret its content?
Where can the source lead you? Keywords, Key concepts, More sources (see bibliography/footnotes)
What does the source focus on?
What does the source leave out?
Is This a Peer Reviewed Journal?
Some library databases allow you to filter your results to just peer-reviewed journals. If you aren't using one of those or still aren't sure, look up the journal title in Ulrich's Web. If a journal is peer-reviewed or refereed, it will have this symbol next to the title: