Health 001 (Orviss): Evaluating Info

Knowledge is Power

Photo of print by Ernesto Yerena Montejano for his exhibit titled: Ganas 2020

Websites by "Domain"

The "domain" provides information about what type of website you are viewing.  The domain can by found by looking at the URL of a website. 

.com is a commercial website

.edu is a website associated with a school

.gov is a government website

.mil is a military website

.org is a non-profit or organization's website

Can you think about how information might vary among these different kinds of websites?



Evaluating Information:  Applying the CRAAP Test
(Borrowed from Meriam Library - California State University, Chico)

When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it...but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

Evaluation Criteria

CurrencyThe timeliness of the information.

  • 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?

RelevanceThe importance of the information for your needs. 

  • 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 basic or too advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

AuthorityThe source of the information.

  • 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

AccuracyThe reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • 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?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors? 

Purpose: The reason the information exists. 

  • 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?

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (interactive)

see link below (NCSU Library)

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazine Articles

Scholarly Journal

Purpose -  report on original research or experimentation

Length - longer, in-depth analysis

Authors - expert or scholar in discipline, name and credentials provided

Language/Audience - jargon of discipline for scholarly readers

Format/Structure - serious look, structure (abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion), always cite sources

Evaluation - reviewed and evaluated by subject experts and editors


Popular Magazine Articles

Purpose -  to entertain, to sell products, to promote a particular viewpoint

Length - short, broad overview, litle depth

Authors - staff writer/journalist, name and credentials often not provided

Language/Audience - simple language, general readers

Format/Structure - slick, attractive appearance, not a specific format, does NOT cite sources, lots of graphics

Evaluation - not evaluated by subject experts or editors