It is important to verify all resources. When using the library database, you can specifically filter by scholarly & peer-reviewed journals. These have been evaluated for you. When using other resources (especially those found on the Web, you should do some type of evaluation. Anyone can publish anything on the web! We recommend using the C.R.A.A.P. (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose/Point of View) test for evaluating resources.
1. Cannot filter for scholarly resources.
2. Selections generally start with paid ads.
3. Uses algorithm that includes key words, frequency of key words, past search history, etc. Therefore the first listed are the most popular and not necessarily the best resources.
1. Why evaluate resources? Watch this video from Western University:
2. Use the C.R.A.A.P. (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose/Point of View) Test chart to evaluate your resources.
Example of credible website using the EasyBib Website Evaluation Guide
Main site: Wikipedia
How it should be used:
Cannot be sited because:
Look at the URL or Web address. Does it sound professional? Does it have a catchy or humorous title? Be careful of sites whose URL sounds too unprofessional. Look at these elements to evaluate web sources.
Domain: Who or what is sponsoring the Web site? Take a look at the table below to explore the differences in web domains.
|.com – a commercial site. Be sure to examine closely, its goal is to sell you something.||
.gov – United States Government sponsored web site. The information may not always be objective, but all government documents and publications are freely available online.
.edu – sponsored by a college or university, these can be especially helpful. However, you should be cautious of personal sites of students or faculty, usually containing a ~ or % in the URL, these sites may simply reflect the opinion of the individual.
.org – sponsored by a non-profit organization. These can provide a wealth of information about an organization as well as some hot topic issues. Be wary of any kind of bias the organization may have. Check the mission statement or the “About us” link from the web site for more information.
If you want to read more, visit these sites that ask in depth questions about accuracy and evaluation when conducting research online.