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Citation Handbook: Citation, Copyright, etc.: Determining Authority

The page is under reconstruction. Thanks to Seneca Library for permission to copy

Why can't I just use Wikipedia?

Ten Reasons You Can't Use Wikipedia from Finding Dulcinea

Can I ever use Wikipedia?

Glossary of Terms

Appropriateness - Suitable for a particular person, place, or need

Authority - An expert in the subject being studies

Bias - Partial ; Not objective on a topic or situation ; to influence in an unfair way

Citation - A reference to a particular work in research or a Works Cited page

Copyright - Protection for author(s) of "original works" or literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. This applies to both published and unpublished works.  National laws, US Title 17, US Code, and international laws give authors protection.  Consult date of publication and location of publication to determine which laws apply.

Currency - Evaluation of whether an information source is up-to-date. (Some information needs to be more current than others.)

Detail - report fully ; "a thorough treatment"' individual parts or elements

Direct Quotation - A report of the exact words or an individual's spoken or written works which is enclosed in quotation marks.

Guideline- A rule or policy that provides guidance for appropriate behavior ; rule-of-thumb

Hanging Indentation - Indentation form in which the first line is at the left margin but each line that follows in the citation or paragraph is indented 5 spaces

Indentation- To move the margin (ie. Paragraphs are usually indented 5 spaces, but the works cited are formatted in a hanging indentation format) 

Indirect Quotation - A paraphrase of an author's words or thoughts ; the meaning is conveyed

Internet Literacy - A person's knowledge and ability to sue the Internet wisely and efficiently 

MLA - Modern Language Association (we are currently using the 8th edition)

Parenthetical - A citation format in which the citation is enclosed in parentheses and embedded within the paragraph or text

Plagiarism - To use the words or thoughts of another without giving them credit' to imitate or closely approximate without giving credit

Quotation - The Words or thoughts or an individual as they wer presented (or an excerpt)

Relevancy - The relation of your source to your information need

Subjective - Influenced bgy personal opinion

Works Cited - Alphabetized list of sources used for a project.  this term replaces Bibliography.  We use MLA format.


RADCAB: Your Vehicle for Information Evaluation

Click or tap each RADCAB concept for further information.

Relevancy Is the information relevant to the question at hand? Am I on the right track?
Appropriateness Is the information suitable to my age and core values?
Detail How much information do I need? Is the depth of coverage adequate?
Currency When was the information published or last updated?
Authority Who is the author of the information? What are his or her qualifications?



Why was this information written? Was it written to inform me, persuade me, entertain me, or sell me something?

Christensson, Karen. “RADCAB: Your Vehicle for Information Evaluation.” RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation, 3 Aug. 2017, 

CAPOW - For Online Research

Currency: When was this written? Is there newer material available?

Authority: Is the author an expert in this subject?

Purpose: Why was this written? What is the Author Trying to share?

Objectivity: Is it fact or opinion?

Writing Style: Is it well written: Are there few or no errors?


For more information go to the Center for Teaching and Learning: ASSIGNMENT 101: Evaluating Websites Using CAPOW

O'Malley, Mimi. “Assignment 101: Evaluating Web Sites Using CAPOW.” Center for Teaching and Learning | Learning House Inc., 21 Mar. 2018,