Sample Coursework Paper on Credibility of a Source

Credibility of a Source
  Element Explanation
Author’s credential ·      This entails author’s credibility by both association and training.

·      It encompasses their formal and information training on subjects that relevant to the topic under discussion. This extends beyond academics to include conferences and workshops. It also entails organizations and individuals the author associates with including employer. Additionally, it encompasses their past publications and research works and where they are cited.

·      This determines the author’s authority on the topic while also helps in determining their biasness towards the topic (Petersen et al., 2014).

Currency ·      This involves establishing when the article was published, edited, updated or revised.

·      However, this should be done in relation to the field since background or historical information is critical in some fields while others value current information.

·      Currency of the article helps in determining the relevance and accuracy of the information to the topic (Desberg & Fisher, 1998).  .

Publisher’s credential ·      This entails establishing the reputation and integrity of the organization that houses and publishes the article.

·      Establishing of trust in the information is hinged on the credibility of the article. For scientific work, peer-reviewing of the article facilitated by a publisher with high integrity is critical.

Sources cited ·      This involves establishing the authority, credibility and currency of the sources cited in the article. For website articles, it is imperative that the links are accessible.

·      All cited information should therefore be provided in a bibliography.

·      This element is importance in further establishing a credibility pattern.

Audience ·      The reliability and credibility of an article is determined also by its target audience. This can be gauged by understanding its tone and the level of specialization of the information.

·      This ensures that the article is appropriate by avoiding cases of overspecialized or below par information being used for academic purposes. The audience determines the importance of the article.

Production design ·      The design of a site or pamphlet goes a long way in highlighting professionalism and credibility of an article.

·      This is because such level of professionalism requires significant funding and is aimed at preserving the credibility of the author and publisher (Burbules, 2001).

Consistency ·      To be considered credible, an article must consistently tackle a topic within the confines of its scope and hypotheses.

·      An inconsistent article negates the credibility and validity of the arguments.

Biasness ·      The connection the author has with the subject and the research funders play a critical role in determining their ability to objectively cover the subject.

·      Emotional and financial connections may lead to biased judgment.

·      This also extends to publishers; an agenda other than academics and knowledge propagation may lead to unreliability of the source (Petersen et al., 2014; Burbules, 2001).

Reviews/Comments ·      Article reviews including comments from readers on online platforms provide an important insight into the credibility and validity of a source.

·      Article critics and the responses from the publishers and authors can be used to make judgment on a source’s credibility.

·      However, they must be skeptical reviewed and filtered to identify malice.

Recommendations ·      Credible sources are popular in academic circles.

·      Sources that are recommended by individuals with integrity and credibility in academic circles such as librarians, faculty heads and tutors and personal circles such as parents, friends and fellow students are considerably credible (Desberg & Fisher, 1998).



Burbules, N. C. (2001). Paradoxes of the web: The ethical dimensions of credibility. Library Trends, 49(3): 441 – 453.

Desberg, P. & Fisher, F. (1998). Teaching with Technology (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Petersen, A. M. et al. (2014). “Reputation and impact in academic careers.” PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111(43):15316 – 15321.