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Most of the books and articles you find through the library undergo a lengthy review and publishing process. Contrast this to the open Web where anyone can publish anything and you see why evaluating your sources is an important part of research. Review the following information on methods of evaluating sources for academic research.
This video from the University of Southern Australia summarizes how to use the CRAAP test to evaluate resources.
Evaluating Sources for Credibility
Your job as a researcher is to find out what experts (people with advanced training on a topic) have concluded about your topic and use that evidence to make an argument. The most credible resources are those written by experts and "peer" reviewed by other experts.
For more on determining credibility, check out this video from North Carolina State Libraries.
Going a Step Beyond CRAAP
The CRAAP Test is a great way to do some basic evaluation of a source. But often when you're evaluating a webpage, CRAAP is not enough because you can't find all the information you need on the page itself - you need to leave the page and do some additional research about the organization, the author, or the claims being made.
Check for previous work
When researching a claim, see if a reputable fact-checking organization like Factcheck.org or Snopes has already de-bunked it.
Go upstream to find the source
Does the article you're reading refer to a study, a Pew research survey, an expert opinion, or some other outside source? Hop onto the library's OneSearch database or Google and see if you can find that original source!
See what others are writing and saying about the author, the organization, and/or the claim being made.
Stuck? Go back to the webpage you're trying to evaluate, take stock of what you know so far, and try a different approach.
Library Research Tutorial
Prefer an interactive learning experience? The Library has created a self-paced tutorial in Canvas on evaluating and selecting sources. The module takes between 15–30 minutes to complete. After finishing the module and getting a score of 75% or higher on the quiz, the option to fill out a certification of completion will appear in the module screen.