TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University


Art History - Reliability of Sources

Evaluate your sources based on the following criteria:

Authority Accuracy
What are the authors qualifications? 
How reputable is the publisher?
How reliable is the information? 
Are there editors and fact checkers?
Coverage Currency
What topics are included in the work?
To what depth are topics explored?
Often hard to determine extent of coverage on web sites.
Is the content of the work up-to-date?
What does the date on the web page mean, 1st created, last revised? 
Is the information presented with a minimum of bias?
Are the goals/aim of the web site clearly stated?

Use the links below to find sources that will help you determine the reliability (authority, accuracy...) of the sources you want to use.

About the Author          About Periodicals         About Books         About Web sites


About the Author

Library catalog Look in our catalog to see what books we have by or about this person.

WorldCat.  Do an author search to see what other books the author has written.             

WorldCat Dissertations.  Do an author search to see topic of dissertation, when and where the doctorate was given. Only those Dissertations cataloged in WorldCat.

Articles Database to see what articles the author has written    

Biography and Genealogy Master Index.   An index to the various biographical dictionaries such as Who's Who, Who's Who in America, Directory of American Scholars, and hundreds of others.  [ Use Literature Resource Center to find biographical information about authors -- particularly in the set "Contemporary Authors". ]

Biography Resource Center Includes biographies and full-text articles from hundreds of magazines and newspapers on people from all eras and fields of endeavor. It also includes tens of thousands of images and links to vetted websites

Credo Reference or Gale Virtual Reference Library -- Collections of subject Encyclopedias & Dictionaries, may include biographical entries

New York Times Obituaries Index.  1858-1978.  Actual articles will be on microfilm.
        Print:  Reference CT 213 N47
    1980+  use LexisNexis Academic which includes full-text articles from the
        New York Times, 1980+
    After 1978 use the New York Times Index.
        Print:  In the Micromaterials Area MicroRef AI 21 N45

 Obituaries from the Times. (London)  Includes reprints of the articles for leading
    personages.  For others only the reference citation is given.  Articles would have to
    be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.
        Print:  Reference CT 120 O16  (1951-1975)
    1990+ use LexisNexis Academic  which includes full-text articles from
        the London Times.

National Faculty Directory.  A list of faculty at universities around the country.
    Print:  Reference L 901 N34

Official Museum Directory.  Look in the personnel index in the back.
    Print:  Reference AM 10 A2 O44

Check the Web using various search engines for faculty home pages, university
web sites, other directories, etc.

About Periodicals

Magazines for Libraries.  Gives information regarding reliability, bias of periodicals,
    if it is peer-reviewed (refereed).
        Print:  Reference PN 4832 M34

Ulrich's International Periodical Directory.  Tells if a journal is refereed.
        Print:  Reference Table A 

About Books  (Book reviews)

Book Review Index.  Index to reviews appearing in newspapers, journals and magazines.
        Print 1965+:  Reference Table A

New York Times Book Review Index, 1896-1970.  Index to book reviews appearing in the
    New York Times newspaper.  The actual articles are on microfilm.
        Print:  Reference Table A

 Humanities International Complete  


Art Full Text. 1984+.
Indexes more than 400 key international arts periodicals and some other arts publications.   Full text from 1997 onward is available for select publications.

Art Index Retrospective. 1929-1984.  Coverage of older articles in international periodicals and journals in the arts. Also in print 1929-1997: Reference N1 A1 A78.

LexisNexis Academic   Includes full text of reviews appearing in many
    newspapers from about 1980 forward.

About Web Sites

  • Be Careful! Remember almost anyone can publish anything on the Web
  • Web pages are unstable and easily altered
  • Blur between information and advertising

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask : by UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

For further assistance you can visit the Library Service Desk, call the Reference Department (660-785-4051) or contact the Reference librarian for Art.

Janet Romine, Reference Librarian for Art & Art History
(660) 785-7418






Encouraging Discovery