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Website Evaluation Exercise
article is of questionable value for academic research. Take a few minutes to explore the webpage and site. Use your own strategies, and the resources on this page to help identify why this article is of questionable value. Try to find 2-3 things.
Comparing Library Databases and Web Information
OneSearch - Library Databases
Web Search Engines
Types of Information Retrieved
Scholarly journal articles
Magazine / Newspaper articles
Conference papers, Ph.D. dissertations
Books and Ebooks
Everything published on the open and indexed web
Commercial sites (.com or .net); educational sites (.edu); governmental sites (.gov); organizations’ sites (.org)
Few free scholarly journal articles and books
When to Use
Best for college level research
Best for academic research
When you need to find credible information quickly
When you are writing a research paper
Best for non-academic and general searches
A good place to start when you are doing research: get a main idea of your topic, and related terms
Information needs to be evaluated
Scholars / Researches / Professionals
Content is evaluated for accuracy and credibility by subject experts, researchers and publishers
Content is reviewed and recommended by faculty and librarians
No review/editorial process with regard to content.
Must evaluate each source by yourself
Full text articles free to LRCCD students, faculty, and staff
Library databases subscriptions are paid by the library
Information is often free, but some sites do charge
More control over your results: user can specify advanced search criteria; full text, date, scholarly, format, etc.
Databases usually include a citation tool to automatically create a citation for the article
Millions of search results: not organized
Lack of subject focus results in irrelevant
No citation tool available.
Adapted from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Paul V. Galvin Library.
Evaluating Internet Sources
Anyone can publish anything on the web, so it's extremely important to evaluate the information you find there. Follow these links for guidelines on how to evaluate a site.
CRAAP Test Plus
When was the information published or posted?
Has the information been revised or updated?
Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
Are the links functional?
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?
Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)?
Where does the information come from?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
Do the authors / sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
Who benefits from the story that is being told?
Whose voices, concerns, and experiences are included? Whose are excluded?
What assumptions are made? What unexamined beliefs does the author appear to have? What is the author unconscious/unaware of?
What power dynamics are at work?