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QS 208: Issues in Queer Health

This guide is intended to help students,enrolled in Queer Studies 208, locate resources in the University Library at California State University, Northridge

Evaluate Before you Share or Cite

  • When you find information from a source you haven't encountered before, do some research about the source BEFORE deciding whether you should listen to anything the source has to say.
  • Try to determine a consensus about the source by researching it using Google and Wikipedia. You can search for any of the following key components:
    • Publication (Usually best)
    • Funding organization (Can often be found in the website's "about" page)
    • Author
    • Content (Cut-and-paste the title of the website into Google)
  • Read a minimum of 3 to 5 new sources to see what they have to say about your original source.
  • If you can't find 3 to 5 sources, that is information in itself. It means your original source doesn't have an established reputation. Proceed with caution.
  • Once you determine a consensus from these new sources, make a judgment call about the original source's trustworthiness.

CREDIT: University of Iowa Libraries

Examples of Lateral Reading

Evaluation through Lateral Reading

Four strategies to teach to students and include in evaluation activities as skills to practice: 

  • Check for previous work
    • Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research. 
  • Go upstream
    • Go "upstream" to the source of the claim. Most web content is not original. Get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information. 
  • Read laterally
    • Once you get to the source, read what others have to say about the source (publication, author, content, etcc). The truth is in the network.
    • This can manifest as "open a new tab, and Google the information/source/organization" 
  • Circle back 
    • If you hit dead ends or start going down a rabbit hole, back up and start over knowing what you know now. 

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