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Biological Sciences Library Guide: Evaluating Information

How to find information at UCT Libraries - a library guide for biological science students and academics at UCT.



Always evaluate the information you read. Be particularly careful when consulting Wikipedia and similar internet sites as the authority and reliability of the content cannot be guaranteed. Remember to work SMART:

Source - is the source well known, reliable, up to date?

Motivation - why does this site exist? Are they selling a product? Supporting a particular lobby?

Authority - is the author's name on the page? Is the author well known in the field?

Review - has the information been reviewed/checked by others working in the field?

Two sources - is the information supported by other reliable sources?

The databases UCT Libraries subscribe to generally index articles that have been peer reviewed by experts in the field before being accepted for publication.

Internet Resources


A large amount of information that may be of interest to Biological Sciences is available on the internet. Some of the information can be accessed on subject-specific internet sites and through using general search engines. 

When using the internet resources, be cautious, as most websites do not undergo peer review. It is therefore important to evaluate the website that you get your information from.

Evaluating Resources

Evaluating a Website


To find out more about evaluating websites, the following sites will help you:

Evaluating web pagesTechniques to apply and questions to ask. UC Berkeley Library.

Evaluating web pagesEvaluating web pages on the Internet. Johns Hopkins University

Evaluating Web SitesCriteria and Tools for evaluating web sites. Cornell University Library