P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions

Submitted by Ellen Carey on September 15th, 2017
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Short Description: 

P.R.O.V.E.N. is designed to provide students with a list of source evaluation questions that are grounded in the ACRL Framework. The "PROVEN" acronym emphasizes the process students should go through to demonstrate credibility based on their particular needs, rather than the state of a particular source (i.e. credible or not).

Learning Outcomes: 

After using the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions students will be better able to:
-Consider the purpose of a source
-Identify the value of a particular source for their needs, based on its type, content, and age
-Examine the objectivity and accuracy of a source and the authority of its authors


Individual or Group:

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

At Santa Barbara City College, we use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions primarily as a supplement to instruction on evaluating sources, either in a F2F research workshop or at the reference desk. We often use an abbreviated version on research guides, and provide a link to the full one-page document.

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips: 

We find that our students often approach source evaluation in a black and white way (the source is either credible or it is not credible). We find that P.R.O.V.E.N. works best when we have the opportunity to teach source evaluation as a process of determining the appropriateness and usefulness of a particular source for a particular purpose.

Suggested Citation: 
Carey, Ellen. "P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2017.