How to Evaluate Sources:
An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to assess its level of accuracy, reliability, and bias.
CRAAP Test Tips:
Use the "CRAAP" Test criteria to evaluate the information that you find in print and on websites. If the information does not pass the test, you probably should not use it as a source for your research.
When was it published/posted or last updated?
Do you need current information, or are older sources acceptable?
Does it relate to your topic or answer your question?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level? Too advanced? Too easy?
Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
What are their credentials or organizational affiliations?
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
Where does the information come from?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has it been reviewed or refereed?
What is the purpose of the information? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
Is the information fact or opinion?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial, free of emotion, and balanced?
Not all scholarly articles are considered peer-reviewed!
Peer-reviewed journals contain scholarly articles that have been reviewed by a panel of scholars or experts in a particular discipline before publication. When you are using the CRAAP Test to evaluate resources, this helps verify accuracy.
What does it mean when an article is peer reviewed?
First, scientists do some science.
Then, they write up their findings.
They submit their article to a journal for peer review.
The journal sends the article to other experts in the same field to review before publishing.
If the article stands up to peer review (review by the scientists' peers) it can be published in the journal.
Other researchers can now use that research to do their own research.