Research Survival Guide

                                  
Page 6 

When it was created -- the publication date  

For most research you’ll want to use sources that are the most up-to-date because older sources may be less accurate. However, if you are working on a historical topic an older source might be just fine.
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In evaluating the currency of a source consider:

  • When was this source created?
  • When was this information first published?
  • Is the resource as timely and up-to-date as you need?

To find answers to these questions:

  • Print items usually have a publication date on the inside cover or title page.
  • Some articles will provide the date submitted for publication.
  • Do a search in the library catalog or an article database to see if there
    is more recent information available.
  • If the author refers to facts or statistics from another source, make sure they are properly cited with the date and that they are current.
  • For a Web page look for the last updated date, which is commonly found at the very bottom or very top of the page.

Currency is particularly important for research in subject areas such as: science, technology, health, etc. where old information may be inaccurate or even dangerous.

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