The RADAR framework provides criteria to help you evaluate the quality, credibility, and relevance of any source of information. Keep these questions in mind when considering if you should use a source - whether print, online, or other media - in your assignment.
Relevance - is the information/source important to my specific topic or research question?
Authority - was it written by a credible expert? Is the publisher reputable?
Date - when was the source published or last updated? Is it an acceptable time frame for my topic?
Appearance - does the source follow the form and structure of its genre? Does it look trustworthy?
Reason - why was the information produced in the first place? Who was it written for?
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 provide data, demonstrate a method, or strengthen your 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?