To be more ethical consumers and producers of information, we must be critical of ever piece of information we come across and cite in our publications. Relying on Peer-review is a good start, but evaluation cannot stop there. As academics and socially responsible individuals, we must recognize the inherit privileges and bias in academic publishing. The acronym ACT UP comes from ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), which has inspired an alternative way to evaluate sources.
A - author.
- Who wrote the resource? Who are they? Background information matters.
C - currency
- When was this resource written? When was it published? Does this resource fit into the currency of your topic?
T - truth
- How accurate is this information? Can you verify any of the claims in other sources? Are there typos and spelling mistakes?
U - unbiased
- Is the information presented to sway the audience to a particular point of view? Resources unless otherwise stated should be impartial.
P - privilege
- Check the privilege of the author(s). Are they the only folks who might write or publish on this topic? Who is missing in this conversation? Critically evaluate the subject terms associated with each resource you found. How are they described? What are the inherent biases?
You can read more about this method of evaluation at the ACRL Journal.