On completion of this module, you will be able to evaluate the resources you find, such as books, journal articles and websites using the following criteria:
When searching for information about your topic it is important to critically evaluate the resources that you find.
You need to be able to distinguish between quality, authoritative resources, and those written or produced by amateurs or those with a particular bias.
In essence, it needs to pass the CRAP test: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Purpose.
Watch this CRAPpy song from Youtube (With thanks to Dr. Chad Bauman); read the information below and then complete the simple quiz.
(Resources can be books, articles, websites, reviews, blogs, personal commmunications etc.. anything you use in your essays and assignments.)
When was it published?
Look for a publication or copyright date on the
Has the source been updated in another edition?
Dates on web pages may indicate:
Broken Links can also indicate a webpage is not being regularly updated.
Is the content appropriate for your research topic or assignment?
The Oxford English Dictionary Online defines peer review as: "The process by which an academic journal passes a paper submitted for publication to independent experts for comments on its suitability and worth."
What are the author's credentials?
Who is the publisher?
Is the author associated with a reputable, unbiased institution or organization?
Personalization of Search Results
You may be aware of that online search engines and social networking sites may filter what you see based on your past browsing behaviour, amongst other things (Pariser 2011). It is important to think through the implications of this for your academic work. Whilst we in the library strongly encourage you to use library databases and the catalogue to find resources, we recognise the ubiquity and user-friendliness of google. With this in mind, here are some issues for you to consider: