Part 4. Evaluate your Sources

15 Consider Currency

To evaluate the currency of your information source, you will need to know the requirements of your assignment as well as consider the topic or the discipline. You may need to use sources no older than 5 or 10 years, or you may need very current information. Research in history or literature may sometimes involve using much older sources, but in the sciences and technology, currency is extremely important.

And sometimes, our research may involve examining a change in thinking or perspective over time, in which case you may need a variety of sources spanning a certain period.


Learn to ask the following kinds of questions:

  • What is the publication or copyright  date?
  • Is it a reprint of a previous work? a new edition or revision?
  • Is there newer information available on the topic?
  • How might ideas and perspectives have changed since the work was published?

Activity: Decide whether the following sources are current enough for the topic

Chose the correct answer. Click the arrow to answer all 3 questions.


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Doing Research Copyright © 2019 by Celia Brinkerhoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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