When evaluating information sources for business research, just remember the RACI criteria: information sources should be relevant, accurate, current, and impartial.
RELAVANT: Does it provide the information you are seeking, or answer the question you are asking?
ACCURATE: Is it factual, and based on verifiable data or research?
CURRENT: Was it published recently enough to still apply?
IMPARTIAL: Is the source unbiased, and is its purpose to inform or educate?
Image: Jebulon (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
For some sources, like Mintel Academic, you can download the data behind the report and analyze it yourself to verify its accuracy. For other sources, you may have to dig a little deeper. The link below provides an explanation of how IBISWorld creates its reports. When you read news articles, see if you can identify who the journalists interviewed or what sources they used for the information in the story. Usually, you'll want to avoid articles presenting only the writer's opinion if that opinion isn't based on actual research.
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