The authority and credibility of the information is established by the credentials of the author(s) and the publication. The quality of information may vary according to the reliability of its source.

Is the periodical peer reviewed?

Articles can be published in a variety of periodicals, such as peer reviewed journals, scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines or newspapers. The differences between these types of publications is discussed in 1.7.3. Periodicals.

Peer reviewed periodicals have the most academic credibility. Watch the video below (view transcript).

Who is the publisher?

If published by a university press (e.g. Oxford University Press, Harvard Business School) the content is more likely to be scholarly. Commercial publishers may let profit projections influence their publication decisions. Some online journals, known as predatory publishers, have inadequate editorial or peer review processes for articles they publish.

You can get a reasonable idea of the publisher of a Web page by looking at the domain name within the URL. This is discussed in 2.4.3 Internet.

However, it is worth noting that domain names do not always reflect the true nature of the organisation and cannot be considered the definitive authentication of a site. Validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness and point of view also need to be evaluated.