The RADAR Framework is a tool to help you remember the criteria used to evaluate the quality, credibility, and relevance of any source of information. Keep these principles in mind when considering the inclusion of any source - whether print, online or other media - in your assignment.
Relevance – How relevant is the information to your assignment?
Authority – Who/what is the source (author, publisher) of the information?
Date – When was the information first published or last updated?
Appearance – What does the source of information look like?
Reason – Why does the information exist in the first place?
RADAR is not a yes/no test, or a be-all and end-all guide. Use RADAR to consider the relative quality of information as you are searching.
Biased, opinionated or even false information can be included in a research project to effectively highlight dissenting opinions or identify commonly held errors. The reliability of such information, however, should always be clearly identified and placed in context with more balanced sources.
If you are unsure about the quality of a source, don’t hesitate to contact the library for help!
When evaluating a piece of information, determine how you will use that information in your report. How do you plan on drawing from the author to strengthen your argument or recommendation?
Authority is important with businesses and corporations. If there is no author for a piece of information, the authority is the publishing body or the business putting the information out.
Similarly, determine the reason for publication. Is the business trying to promote a product? Discuss a success or failure? Publish company information?