Depending on the topic you are researching, it may be necessary for you to choose a date span for the information you require.
- If you need information on purchasing trends you will need to look at 5 or 10 years worth of data.
- If you need ideas on predicting future technological developments you will need to limit your search to the very latest information.
Some information remains valid over time, while other information may become discredited or obsolete.
Currency of information is more important in fields which are rapidly and continuously developing such as information technology or business. However, uniqueness of a topic or in-depth analysis is sometimes more important than being on the cutting edge.
Date of publication
It is important that you can establish when the information was ‘produced’ or published. On websites it is not always possible to determine how up-to-date the information is because there is no date on the page. Where this is the case, think critically about what you read and judge if it makes sense to you. Then try to find another site that can confirm this information.
Website dates: check if this is the date of the last update, or the date of creation. Decide if the date given is suitable for your needs.