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Building a Library Research Strategy: Evaluating Sources

This guide will help students develop a research strategy for finding information for papers or projects.

CRAP TEST for Evaluating Sources

  • You can use this list as a guide for evaluating your sources, whether they are websites or from SVC resources.
  • You don't need to be able to answer all the questions but use the list as a general evaluating tool.
CURRENCY
  • How recent is the information, does it matter to your topic?
  • Has the resource been consistently updated/revised?
  • Are links current and working?
RELEVANCE
  • Is the information really relevant to your topic?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or ideas?
  • Are there errors?
AUTHORITY
  • Who is the creator, author or sponsor?
  • What credentials does the author or organization have?
  • Does their experience or education indicate that they could be considered "experts"?
  • Is information about the creator easily found?
  • Is information provided about funding sources or data gathering for the work?
PURPOSE / POINT OF VIEW
  • What is the the purpose of the site? Is it obvious what it's for?
  • Are they trying to sell you something or promote an idea?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is there a strong bias, an aggressive use of language, or a balanced tone?
  • Are there lots of pop-ups and irrelevant ads?

 

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