Prepare, plan, do: Checklist

Use the following checklist as a prompt when you’re reviewing the results of any search you do. You will find that this evaluative process becomes automatic the more frequently you work through these questions.

  1. Do you have enough information to answer your question?
  2. Is the information relevant to your project?
  3. Did you check the target audience for the information you have found?
  4. Are your search results of an appropriate academic level?
  5. Is the information current or within the date span you require?
  6. Are you confident that you know when the information was produced?
  7. If you have found online information, is there a publication date?
  8. Is the information from a reputable source?
  9. Did you break your project title down into keywords before you started searching?
  10. Did you identify synonyms and alternative spellings for each of your key terms?
  11. Did you remain focused on your keywords throughout your search or did you get distracted and go off at a tangent?
  12. Is the author a specialist in this subject area?
  13. Can you check the author’s credentials?
  14. Has their work been cited by other people?
  15. If the information was retrieved from a website, is there an obvious, reputable author/editor and publisher?
  16. Is the information peer-reviewed?
  17. Did you use a recognised quality search tool, such as a subject database or gateway?


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