Skip to Main Content

Research Process

Evaluating Sources

The ACT UP method is an inclusive way of evaluating information developed by Dawn Stahura's "ACT UP for evaluating sources: Pushing against privilege".


Who wrote the information? What can you learn about them and their expertise on your topic?


When was the material published? Do you need the most recent information or something that comes from a specific time frame?


Can you verify whether the information is accurate or true? Are there other studies or information that say the same things?


Is the information presented objectively? Is the author trying to engage your emotions or convince you of something? Does the author recognize their own bias?


Is there anyone missing from the conversation? Can you find and support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) voices?

Inclusion in Scholarship

Despite the intent to be unbiased, most scholarly, peer-reviewed publications are not perfect. The people who make publishing decisions are mainly white, cis-gender straight people without disabilities. This means that even works focused on diverse populations are not often written by those who identify as part of the diverse group on which they write. Furthermore, the systems developed to organize information and algorithms used to search for information assume that being straight, white, and male is the default. 

If you would like to learn more about promoting scholarship by Black/African American and other underrepresented groups in academia, Cite Black Women is a great resource to check out. They host a podcast on SoundClound (embedded below) and you can follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @citeblackwomen