5.1.1 How much trust can I put in this text?
You would generally assume that any set texts for a are trustworthy. But when you find a text through your own research you need to run a few checks to assess the soundness of its content.
Who is the publisher?
If an article is from an academic journal, you can assume that its quality has been vetted by the journal's editors. Also if a book is published by a major academic publishing house, you would expect it to be ‘respectable’. And if it's a book from an academic series, you would expect the series editor to have vetted the quality. However, in other cases you need to run a few checks. Richard Layard's article is published in a weekly magazine. This does not guarantee academic soundness, so I need to consider other information.
Who is the author?
At the end of Layard's article, a note says that he is Co-Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. This gave me confidence in the quality of his scholarship. I did a little further research on the internet and found out that he is an advisor to the government, particularly with respect to its New Deal for the unemployed, and that he has been made a Lord.