University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Research Help

Website, Blogs & Other Internet Sources

Articles from websites, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, or blog posts can all be good sources if carefully evaluated.


We recommend you use this criteria to decide if a source you have found online should be used in your academic research:


  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information up to date or have there been any major changes affecting the topic since the content was published?
  • Are there broken links? This may indicate a site that is no longer maintained.


  • Does the publication answer your questions or provide information relevant to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience — general readers? Experts? Professionals in a particular field?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level?
  • Have you looked at multiple sources?


  • Is there an author or authors listed? Be wary of content published with no author credits.
  • What are the author’s qualifications — do they have advance degrees in the field or are they sponsored by an institution?


  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is it supported by evidence?
  • Does the author provide a reference list or links to original research or primary source documents?
  • Do they name their sources?
  • Can you verify the information using other sources?


  • Why was this information published or posted?
  • Is the purpose of the publication educational, commercial or political?
  • Look out for sensationalist or alarmist titles or claims.
  • Does the author present multiple sides of an issue in a neutral tone, or is there a particular viewpoint?
  • If published by an organization, is it non-profit or for-profit? Are they selling something? Do they have a particular agenda such as a think-tank or Political Action Committee (PAC)?

For more in depth information, learn how to determine journal quality or use our Evaluate an Online Journal Checklist(PDF).

Questions & Help

If you have questions about a source, librarians are here to help!

Contact us:

  • IN PERSON: Research and Teaching Librarians are usually available weekdays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • ASK A LIBRARIAN: Submit your question and a librarian will get back to you within 24 hours
  • PHONE: Call us at 207-602-3000 most weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • CHAT: Use our pop-up chat service to ask a question