Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Where to look: print
Often a book or article will have some biographical information listed about the author. This can be found:
- in the beginning or introduction of the book.
- on the back cover or book jacket of the book.
- in an "about the contributers" section of a journal/magazine.
- at the beginning of the article as a kind of footnote
Where was the work published?
- It should tell you on the title page or cover of the book/journal. If it is an academic press or publisher, you know it is authoritative.
Authority: Who wrote it?
- Check the author's credentials. The author should have the appropriate education or training in the subject area being discussed.
- If the author has written a book, check to see if it is published by an academic press.
- If the author has written an article, check to see of it appears in an academic or peer review journal.
- If the author has produced a Website, check to see if it sponsored by the government or a university.
- Books published by an academic press, articles appearing in peer review journals, and Websites sponsored by the government or a university are generally regarded as being more reliable and as possessing greater authority.
Where to look: web
Look for an author's contact information or affiliation.
Sometimes information can be found in the "About Us" section on a webpage.
What type of organization is putting out the information? A company? A non-profit? A university? Sometimes you can tell by the URL domain (.com, .org, .edu).
Not finding anything? Do an Internet search for the author's name and see what you find out!