No matter where you may have retrieved information from, it is important to have critical approach to your sources. Remember that information found on the Internet can be published by basically anyone, so you might have to pay extra attention to the critical evaluation of those sources.
To evaluate your sources, please take consideration to the following questions:
• ACCURACY & COVERAGE - WHAT does the material contain?
Reliability: To which extent is the information
credible and accurate? To evaluate the reliability, your own experience
and knowledge as well as the source's reputation plays an important role. Does the source have fact checkers or editors?
How relevant and/or useful is the material for your needs? Which topics are covered, and to what depth?
References: Which other sources has been cited in the work/material?
Scholarly: Is it a scholarly text or popular science?
Target audience: Who is the intended audience (scholars, school children, general public, et.c.)?
• AUTHORITY - WHO is communicating the information?
Author: Is the author well known in their field of research? Does the author have academic legitimacy? Has he / she been published before? Is there any way to contact the author? In short - what are the author's qualifications for writing on the subject?
Publisher: Who is responsible for the information - a company, an
agency, an organization or an individual?
Any contact information? Serious publishers often clearly express who
they are and what they do. How reputable is the publisher?
• OBJECTIVITY - WHY was the material published?
What is the purpose of material / document? Inform,
present research, disseminate views, entertain, sway the opinion of the audience...? Is the information presented with a minimum of bias?
• CURRENCY - WHEN was the material produced/written?
Up to date: When was the text written? Is the material enough for you topically? Is the publication /
web page dated? Updated? If the date is included it may have various meanings: date first created, date placed on the web or date last revised.
Professor in Ethics and former Vice-Chancellor of Lund University, Göran Bexell, gives a short talk about Academic Integrity and plagiarism. English subtitles.
Make sure that you know the regulations concerning plagiarism when studying at Lund University. It is your responsiblilty.
URKUND is a practical aid in plagiarism control and certifying the authenticity of professional texts.
URKUND automatically checks texts against the Internet, archives and databases and reports any similarities and offers source track-back in an easy to operate analysis.
Follow these steps to use URKUND:
1. You will get an URKUND mail address from your teacher.
2. You send your thesis or project as a file to the URKUND mail address.
3. You will get a notification from your teacher of the outcome.
For more information about how to avoid plagiarism read the student's handbook at URKUND.