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Trans Accessible Libraries Initiative

This guide provides practical information and library resources for UNTs transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender variant, and gender diverse students.

Finding Information 

Finding reliable information is a process. The first place you may look when seeking answers about your gender identity is the internet to find other members of the transgender community. This is a great place to start!

trans accessible libraries initiative

The purpose of this library resource guide is to support the beginning stages of your research (information from those in your community) with additional information that you can find in the libraries and from health practitioners.  

Not everything you learn from your peers, the library, or health practitioners will be right for your situation. Analyzing and evaluating resources is an important part of the research process because it helps you think critically about currency, authority, accuracy, intended audience, biases, and the purpose of information sources. The evaluation criteria below should help you work through that process. 

If you need help locating library resources, please contact the Women’s and Gender Studies Librarian, Julie Leuzinger (she/her/hers).

NOTE: While I have tried to use inclusive language in this guide, if you notice anything that could be improved, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions.

Information Evaluation Criteria

Currency: The timeliness of the information

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites      
  • Does the paper/assignment require the most current information, historical information, or information over a period of time?
  • If you are researching a topic that is currently in the news, you may want only the most recent information. If you are researching a historical event, you may want information written at the time of the event.
  • For books: What is the copyright date on the reverse of the title page? Does it meet your needs? Is this the most recent edition?
  • For periodicals:  Does the publication date meet your needs? 
  • Does the paper/assignment require the most current information, historical information, or information over a period of time?
  • When was the website published or created? (look for a copyright date on the homepage)
  • When was the site last updated or revised?
  • Are the links up to date?

Adapted from Penn State University Libraries (2020). Evaluating Information Rubric. Retrieved at https://libraries.psu.edu/research/how/evaluating-information-rubric

Authority: The source of the information

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites
  • What are the author's credentials and reputation?
  • What other works on the subject has the author written?
  • Is the author an expert or researcher in the field? A government agency? A journalist?
  • Has the author been cited by your instructor? In other publications you've read?
  • Did you check biographical sources such as Contemporary Authors and Biographical and Genealogical Master Index in the E-Resource List ?
  • Who is supplying the information?
  • Is it an educational institution (.edu extension)? A government agency (.gov)? A commercial supplier (.com)? A non-profit organization (.org)?
  • Is the supplier a reputable organization? (look for an “About Us” link on the homepage)
  • Is there an author or contact person named? What are the author's credentials (see "What to look for in books and periodicals")?
  • Has this site been reviewed by experts or professional organizations?

Accuracy/Validity: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites
  • If the information is not current, is it still accurate?
  • Can the information be verified or supported by other sources? Do other sources report the same findings?
  • Is evidence given to support the information?
  • Are sources of factual information cited?
  • Are sources of information cited?
  • Compared to other sources, is the information complete and accurate? Are the links also complete and accurate, or are there discrepancies?
  • Is selection criteria provided for the links found in the website?
  • Does the site appear to be carefully edited, or are there typographical errors? 

 

Audience: The group the resource was created for

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites
  • Who is the intended audience? Researchers or experts? Trade or professional members? The general public?
  • Is the source appropriate for your needs, or is it too technical, advanced or elementary?
  • Is the site appropriate for your needs, or is it too technical or too elementary?
  • Who is the intended audience? Experts or the general public? 

 

Point of View/Bias: The information leans toward a specific perspective

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites
  • Does the source have a particular bias?
  • Does it promote the ideas of a particular group--religious, political, etc.?
  • Is the information objective or partial?
  • Is it factual information or interpretations of facts?
  • Are there assumptions and opinions stated?
  • Does the information appear to be filtered or is it free from bias?
  • Could the organization sponsoring the site have a stake in how the information is presented?
  • Is the site free of advertisements?
  • Are various points of view, theories, techniques, or schools of thought offered?

 

Purpose: The reason the information exists

What to look for in books/journals What to look for in websites
  • Is it for academic purposes or entertainment?
  • How closely does the book or journal relate to the purpose for which you need that information?
  • What is the purpose of the site or article?
  • Is it to share new, scholarly research?
  • is it to report developments in an evolving news story?
  • Or is it to rant about a government conspiracy? 
  • ​How closely does the website relate to the purpose for which you need that information?

 

Additional Links

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