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MIO: Reference Librarian


Determine the relevance or pertinence of the information

The pertinence of a document depends on your specific needs and how you want to use it. What is relevant to one person may not be relevant to someone else. You are the best person to judge so look at your results with a critical eye.


Will this information be useful to my project?

Is the information written at my level of understanding?

  • Who is it written for? A graduate student or a high school student?

Is the content relevant to my topic?

  • Is there a or of the document? Does it mention information that I’m looking for?
  • Is there a or   that contains subjects that touch on my topic?
  • Do my search results include or subject terms and if so are they relevant to my topic?
  • Does the website’s index or navigation bar include topics of interest to me?

Does the document contain data that would be useful for my research?

  • Are there charts, tables, images, graphs, etc.?

Is this the type of document required for my assignment?

  • Do I need a reliable source of factual information?
  • Does my assignment require me to analyze someone’s opinion?
  • Have I been asked to discuss various viewpoints on a topic?

For factual information, the document should come from experts in the field or reliable organizations (ex:  government or university departments). If it’s a critical analysis of an author’s opinion, the reliability of the facts isn’t as important and could even be commented on in your review.

A brief description of the content of a document such as a book, article, webpage, or report.
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A brief text that summarizes the main points of an article or book.   More Info 
A list of the chapters or sections of a publication in the order that they appear.  More Info
A list of terms that points the reader to a publication or to a section of a publication that contains the term.   More Info
An official term that has been selected by specialists to describe the content of a publication (book, article, report, etc). More Info