Using blogs as a resource can be a great source of up-to-date information on a topic. While there are many useful blogs for academic use, many others are not written to be used as a scholarly source or are simply inaccurate. Some blogs are edited by an organization or news company, others have no editorial review and are written by an amateur - both could be used, you just need to evaluate.
Questions to ask while evaluating a blog are:
- Who is the blogger?
- Has the blogger been published elsewhere?
- If the blogger is not a traditional “expert,” is this a first-hand view that would also be valuable for research? Is it a unique perspective?
- How sound is it?
- What is the focus?
- What sorts of materials is the blogger reading or citing?
- Is the site up front about its bias?
- Does it recognize/discuss other points of view?
- Is there a substantial archive?
- How current are the posts?
- At what point in a story’s lifetime did a post appear? Examining a story’s date may offer clues as to the reliability of a blog entry.
- Is it well written?
- What is the tone?
- How sophisticated is the language, the spelling?