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STRT 265: Business Government Relations

Professor: Dennis Quinn

RECAP: Relevance, Evidence, Currency, Authority, and Purpose

The RECAP criteria are helpful when you evaluate your sources: 


How relevant is this source to what you are trying to accomplish? Is it too broad or too narrow in scope?

Would you be better served by another source?

Tip: Read the abstract in order to determine relevance.


Can you verify the information presented? Is each assertion supported by evidence or common knowledge?

Does the author explain their methodology? Have their claims been checked by an editor or reviewer?

Can you check the author’s sources?


How up to date is the information? If it isn't current/recent scholarship, are you choosing older sources deliberately?


Can you identify the author?

What is their area of expertise? What are their credentials?

Do they have an obvious bias or agenda?


Why did the author write this publication?

Did they want to inform, persuade, or entertain?

What audience did they have in mind?

Goals when you evaluate sources

Recognize appropriate information resources per discipline through understanding the role of authoritative voices in a subject area.

  • Recognize the relevance of subject expertise as a kind of authority in order to gather appropriate articles for an information need
  • Acknowledge that oneself may be seen as an authority in a particular area, and recognize the responsibilities entailed

Determine attributes of authoritative information for different needs, with the understanding that context plays a role in authority-based attributes

  • Evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to determine whether it meets ones information need
  • Evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to cultivate a skeptical stance and a self-awareness of their own biases and world views
  • Evaluate databases results in order to select relevant and credible sources
  • Evaluate an author's use of sources
  • Recognize that traditional notions of granting authority might hinder diverse ideas and world views

Distinguish between different types of sources (i.e. scholarly, popular) in order to select appropriate sources for the research need.

  • Thoughtfully find published primary sources in order to include first-person perspectives in their research project.
  • Distinguish news from an editorial article to understand that information is created for a purpose.
  • Express a desire to find better resources in order to improve the quality of their resources.

Attribution: Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI).  "Possible Learning Objectives." Oct 16, 2020.  LibGuide Box. PALINI, Indianapolis, IN.  Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Frame: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual. Web October 19, 2020. 

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