Source Reliability


Source reliability is a measure that an analyst utilizes to help him/her assess the dependability of certain facts, websites, human contacts, etc. It is measured on a scale of 1-10, one indicating extremely low source reliability and ten illustrating that information from a particular source is highly reliable. The following topics should be used as assessment for source reliability (although this list is not all encompassing):

Publication
  1. Date - is the information current, or does it need to be current?
  2. Reputation of publication - is the source well known and reputable?
  3. Kind of publication - is it a scientific report, eye-witness account, a website?

Author or Speaker
  1. Qualifications - is he an expert in his field?
  2. Bias - is he one-sided in his point-of-view?
  3. Values - what does the author value in regards to the topic?
  4. Chance for personal gain - does the author stand to benefit from his position?

Consistency of Information
  1. Confirmation or corroboration - can anyone else make the same claims?

Means of Obtaining the Information
  1. Witness or researcher - was the author or speaker a first-hand witness to the information or did he gather it from some other source?
  2. Equipment - what kind of equipment was used to record information?


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