History 022 (Mercado): Welcome to the Library!: Evaluating Information Sources

Research Project Spring 2019

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

 

 

Databases Off-Campus

Single Sign On Screen

To access databases off campus, you enter your W number as your username (begin with a CAPITAL W).  Your password is your six digit Class-WEB PIN.

Tutorial on How to Login Off Campus and what to do if your PIN does not work

Information Timeline

 

The Information Timeline

Graphic showing timeline of information

CRAAP Test

 

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

 

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?
  • This article uses outdated information: https://www.vegsource.com/harris/b_cancer.htm

 

RelevanceThe importance of the information for your needs. 

 

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
  • This site appears legitimate but we cannot be sure about the source:  https://healthylongevity.blogspot.com/2014/02/death-by-veggiephobia.html

 

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? 
  • This site cites data and statistics with questionable validity: https://bragg.com/healthinfo/fluoridefacts.html

 

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?
  • Look at the funding and copyright information at the bottom of this website: https://www.beefnutrition.org/