Objectivity Is the information covered considered to be fact, opinion, or propaganda? Teaching and Learning Services, University of Maryland Libraries; Ostenson, Jonathan. It is not always easy to separate fact from opinion. “Skeptics on the Internet: Teaching Students to Read Critically.” 98 (May, 2009): 54-59; Stanford History Education Group. Bias, whether done intentionally or not, occurs when a statement reflects a partiality, preference, or prejudice for or against an object, person, place, or idea.
Objectivity Is the information covered considered to be fact, opinion, or propaganda? Teaching and Learning Services, University of Maryland Libraries; Ostenson, Jonathan.
This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas and the intended readership.
Intended Audience What type of audience is the author addressing?
What are the basic values or goals of that organization or institution?
Inquiring about the Date of Publication When was the source published?
Is the book or article written on a topic in the author's area of expertise? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies?
Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization?
Facts can usually be verified; opinions, though they may be based on factual information, evolve from the interpretation of facts. “How Students Evaluate Information and Sources When Searching the World Wide Web for Information.” A report from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education found that students evaluating information that flows across social media channels or retrieved from online search engines like Google or Bing, have difficulty distinguishing advertisements from news articles or how to identity where the content came from. "Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning." Stanford, CA: Graduate School of Education, 2016; Writing from Sources: Evaluating Web Sources. Listed below are problems to look for when determining if the source is biased.
Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched, or is it questionable and unsupported by evidence? Are the ideas and arguments advanced more or less in line with other works you have read on the same topic? University of North Carolina; Evaluation During Reading. Purdue University; Walraven, Amber, Saskia Brand-Gruwel, and Henny P. In general, the principles that guide your evaluation of print materials are the same that apply to evaluating online resources. University of Georgia; Evaluating Internet Sources: A Library Resource Guide. The act of determining bias in scholarly research is also an act of constant self-reflection. Therefore, it is important that you minimize the influence of your own biases by approaching the assessment of another person's research introspectively and with a degree of self-awareness."Availability Bias, Source Bias, and Publication Bias in Meta-Analysis." In Methods of Meta-Analysis: Correcting Error and Bias in Research Findings.