Questions to ask:
- Who is the author/organization responsible for the information?
- Does the author/organization responsible have an agenda?
- Are any agendas or possible conflicts of interest (e.g., monetary gain from conducting/publishing the research) clearly communicated?
- Are various points of view considered, or just those of the author?
- Is the source free of advertising?
- If advertising is included, is the advertising clearly separated from the content and identifiable as such?
What to look for when determining fairness:
- Look for any information about the author or sponsoring organization, including their affiliations and causes they support.
- Websites: look for an "About Us" or similar page.
- Articles (scholarly or popular): look near the author(s)' name(s) and affiliations; this information is often included on the first/title page or at the end of the article, near any references.
- Books: look on the inside flap of the book jacket or the back cover.
- Are arguments well-reasoned? Is the tone calm and logical, or inflammatory/offensive?
- Are there conflicts of interest? That is, does the author/sponsoring organization have a vested interest (financial or otherwise) in the issue at hand?