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Evaluating Resources: Evaluation

What Are You Evaluating?

Different sources may not require the same degree of scrutiny.  Scanning the Wikipedia entry for a movie does not require the same analytical rigor as judging the merits of an article found on Google Scholar, but both should be evaluated for your purposes.  Below are some tools to use both generally and specifically.

CRAAP Test

The CRAAP test can provide a useful checklist to consider when evaluating the reliability of a resource.

Currency

  • When was it published?
  • Has it been updated?
  • Does linked information appear up-to-date?

Relevance

  • Does the resource relate to your topic?
  • Is the resource appropriate to your needs?
  • Have you been able to locate additional similar resources, and determined this to be the best?

Authority

  • Who is the creator?
  • What are their credentials/affiliations?
  • Are the associated with a reputable organization?

Accuracy

  • Are there citations?
  • Is evidence used to support claims?
  • Is it presented appropriately?

Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the resource?  Entertainment, information, persuasion?
  • Are there evident or obvious biases?
  • Is it presented as fact or opinion?

Scholarly Articles

Bias in Research

This article gives some helpful tips on how to identify and avoid bias in research, from planning to analysis.

Logical Fallacies

Keeping these in mind while you are reading can help identify weak arguments, flimsy statements, and "things-that-sound-kind-of-true-until-you-really-think-about-them."

Fact-Checking

No News Is Good News

This article examines the effect of "fake news" on college students.