Evaluating sources involves thinking critically about what you read. You cannot take for granted that anything you read or hear is true and accurate. You have to consider who wrote it, why they wrote it, and often where it was published/presented.
Keep in mind that your purpose for researching/writing will have an influence on how you evaluate your sources. Consider the following scenarios:
With Internet sources it can be difficult to determine quality and reliability. Finding information about who wrote it, their credentials, biases of the author/organization, and purpose can be difficult and sometimes impossible.
There are several methods you can use to evaluate the sources you find. For all of them, you will need to look at who wrote it, why it was written, when it was written, how accurate it is, and whether it is relevant to the topic you are researching.
Following is a brief video on one method, as well as links to other resources on how to evaluate your sources.
The C.R.A.A.P. test is one method to help you evaluate your sources. The following short video produced by the Johnson & Wales University Denver Campus Library will show you what it is and how you can use it.
As you learned in an earlier section, there are several types of sources, and it is important to evaluate all of the sources you plan to use to make sure they are appropriate for your intended purpose. The articles you find in the databases are considered reliable, but you still need to look at issues such as:
When you use information from Internet sources, you need to be extra diligent in your evaluation. You must make sure that the author is credible and qualified to write on the topic, which can be made especially difficult when the author is not identified. Publication dates are also often missing or obscured. Bias and inaccuracy on the Internet are rampant.
Watch the following videos to help you learn more about evaluating all of your sources, especially Internet sources.
Source Evaluation: Is This Source Any Good?
sjfclaverylibrary. Lavery Library - Source Evaluation: Is this information source any good? YouTube.
Source Evaluation: Is this information source Scholarly, Trade, or Popular?
sjfclaverylibrary. Lavery Library - Source Evaluation: Is this information source Scholarly, Trade, or Popular. YouTube.
Evaluating Sources: But what about The Internet & Websites?
sjfclaverylibrary. Lavery Library - Source Evaluation: What about The Internet & Websites. YouTube.
Evaluating Internet Resources
Boston College Libraries. Evaluating Internet Resources. YouTube.Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)
How to Evaluate Resources (the CRAAP Test)
McMaster Libraries. How Library Stuff Works: How to Evaluate Resources (the CRAAP Test). YouTube. Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)