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Zines@Douglas: Evaluating Zines

Zines at the Douglas College Library, Zine resources for faculty and distros Zinesters

Where Can I Find Zine Reviews?

Broken Pencil is the magazine of zines, comics, DIY and the radical press since 1995.  Broken Pencil has useful Zine reviews (over 15,000 of them).  More information is on the Broken Pencil Website.  

Broken Pencil is available in 2 databases linked below.  Follow the links (CBCA is best) and search your Zine title.  

CBCA Access to Broken Pencil (1995-present).  

Gale Access to Broken Pencil (2010-present).


  • If you don't find your Zine reviewed in Broken Pencil, try a Google search for your title and add the word review or words book review.  
  • If you still don't find a review for your Zine you can used the CARSS Guide below to help you critically examine and access your Zine.











Is this source believable and trustworthy?

Is the information correct and current?

Is the information fair and objective?

Is the information verifiable?

Does the information meet your specific needs?

Author’s credentials,

education, employer; memberships; contact info

Timely OR timeless;  how quickly  the field changes

Balanced, reasoned argument; evidence for all sides

Sources cited

Bibliography, further readings, etc.

Check Table of Contents for topics covered

Quality control

Peer review process;

Corporate authorization

“official website”

Comprehensive; detailed

Calm tone that doesn’t inflame emotions and cloud judgment

What kind of sources were used?

Tone, language and level of detail

Summaries or abstracts


Objective, unbiased, free from conflict of interest

Corroboration , fact-checking and triangulation

Presumed background knowledge

Critical reviews

Audience & purpose

Moderateness: how likely, possible, or probable are the claims based on your knowledge of the world

External consistency – compare what familiar in new source with what is familiar in other sources

Assignment criteria

Warning Signals
Spelling and grammatical errors; anonymous; poor reviews

Warning Signals

Undated; out-dated, or auto-dated; vague; sweeping generalizations

Warning Signals

One-sided; over-the-top language; improbable claims; conflict of interest

Warning Signals

Numbers/statistics not credited; no other sources confirm facts/statements

Warning Signals

Too many new terms

GOAL: a source that supplies good evidence that you can trust

GOAL: a source that is correct today and that gives the whole truth

GOAL: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably

GOAL: a source that provides convincing evidence for its claims and uses verifiable data

GOAL: a source that you can understand and that meets the specifications of your project


Source: Harris, R. (2010, November 22). Evaluating Internet research sources. Retrieved from