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Finding Reliable Sources: Who Decides a Source is Reliable?

Lanier Technical College Library's guide to finding and evaluating all types of information one might read and / or hear in everyday life.

Who Decides a Sources is Reliable?

There are three ways to determine the reliability of a source: Peer Review, Editorial Review, and Reader Review.

Peer Review

Peer Review

A scholar/researcher/professor writes an article (aka 'manuscript') or book proposal. 

  1. He or she submits the manuscript or proposal to an academic journal or book publisher in their field of study.
  2. The book or journal editor decides whether the topic and overall quality of the manuscript or proposal is appropriate for their journal or publication catalog.
  3. If it is acceptable, the editor sends the manuscript or proposal to 2 or 3 scholarly experts in the subject
  4. The experts read, critique, and recommend:
    1) Publish as is (rare)
    2) Publish with revisions (major or minor)
    3) Do not publish.

Editorial Review

Editorial Review

The editor(s) are experienced practitioners or jounalists.

Used by:

  • Magazines for a general audience
  • professional or trade magazines for practitioners in a field
  • professional newspapers (print or online)

Reader Review

Reader Review

Everything you find online--through Google, Facebook, blogs, and websites--must be carefully reviewed to determine its reliability. 

Use the CRAAP  and SMELL Tests to quickly decide if a source can be trusted.

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Lanier Technical College Libraries

Marci Manglitz
Director of Library Services
Hall Campus


Min Su
Forsyth Campus


Tina Jordan
Dawson Campus


Angela Moss-Hill
Barrow & Jackson Campus