Research Survival Guide

Page 5 

Where it came from – the publisher

The publisher of a resource can give important clues as to its nature. Some publishers have their own agendas when they choose to publish books and magazines. For example, they may hire authors whose writing reflects the values of their publishing company.

In evaluating the publisher consider: Image

  • Who is the parent company of the publishing company?
  • What kind of a publisher is it?
  • Does the publisher have an agenda it is trying to support?
  • Does it only publish items on one side of an issue or topic?

To find answers to these questions:

  • When using a print magazine or journal, look for a mission statement on the masthead or inside cover.
  • Ask a reference librarian – they’ll probably know something about the publisher, or be
    able to help you find out more.
  • When using a Web source:
    • look for a logo or link back to the home page
    • check to see if there are lots of advertisements (most educational sites don’t
      have lots of advertisements)
    • look at the beginning of the URL to determine the sponsoring organization's Web site.
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