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English 123 - AMERICAN LITERATURE FROM 1865 - Gamberg

What Does "Vetting" Mean?

It is not what animal doctors do to make your pet dog or cat feel better after eating something he shouldn't have eaten!

"Vetting" is another word for verifying. Some sources are going to start out a little more reliable than others.

  • Did they come from a reputable library subscription database, a well-known and well-respected website?
  • Do the contributors of a particular source appear reputable? How can you tell? What do you look for?

So, how do you "vet" a source, especially if it didn't come from a known, reliable resource such as ProQuest or the library's database?

  • After you have a basic "working knowledge" of your topic, select out the ones you KNOW are reliable. These sources will be your gold standard for measuring your other sources.
  • Getting a working knowledge also helps you to determine when something doesn't sound right. That's why it is ok to start with wikipedia, but look at other sources that are not so easily changed to confirm what you have learned. 
  • Your professors want you to find different types of sources for this exact reason. Using all open web sources found using a simple search in Google doesn't help you to "vet." Professors are not trying to ruin your Spring break by making you search for different sources! 
  • Professors want you to compare the lesser-known sources with those that you have already determined to be of high(er)quality. 
  • Example: Buying a car!
  • See the graphic to the right for specific criteria to look for, especially when you are considering a non-traditional source to use. 

 

What about this resource?

PACAC--Criteria for Evaluating Sources

PACAC1

PACAC2

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