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Library CLOSED until further notice

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Limited Access

Beginning Monday, March 23, Hoover Library will be CLOSED until further notice. Virtual reference services (use the "ASK US" or "CHAT" button) will be available from 1 PM - 9 PM Sunday, 9 AM - 9 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9 AM - 4 PM Friday. Hours are subject to change at any time. Please see our Hours page for current building availability. For more information, see the McDaniel College COVID-19 Information Page
Faculty: Please see our COVID-19 Library Access
Students: Please see our COVID-19 Student Access page.

SIS 2038: Monsters Medieval Style: Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

What's Wrong with the Web?

Nothing! Just remember that anyone can post anything for any reason--it's not everyone's goal to share reliable, unbiased, up-to-date information. So, if your professor allows you to use websites for your research paper/project, make sure you critically evaluate them first.

Some of the popular search sites, such as Google or Wikipedia, are fine for exploring a topic you're not familiar with and finding citations to other sources you might be able to use.

Remember: You may be able to find out about an article on the web, but you may not be able to get to the full-text. Often, you'll get to full-text and you're asked to pay for it!  If this happens to you, please check the library's databases for the article. If you don't find it there, you can still request it through Interlibrary Loan.

The CRAAP Test for Evaluating Resources

What to look for: 

  • Currency: 

    When was the article/book published? Is the time period appropriate for your research topic?  Has the information been superseded by more current research? When was the website updated? Are there broken links?

  • Relevance/Coverage: 

    Is the intended audience scholarly or popular?  Is it primary or secondary material?  Does it contain the depth of information you need for your research topic?

  • Authority: 

    Who wrote it?  Does author have credentials related to the discipline? What type of website is it (.com, .edu, .org, .gov etc.)

  • Accuracy: 

    Are citations/references to other works consulted listed, both in the text and in a list of references?  Are those citations accurate – can you find the books/articles cited? Are the cited sources reputable? Are the research methods and conclusions sound?

  • Purpose/Objectivity: 

    Why was the article/book written? What is the purpose of the website?  Is the purpose to inform or extend research in a discipline (scholarly) or to advertise or persuade (popular)?  Is there any bias or conflict of interest evident in the content?

Based on: "The CRAAP test" (from Meriam Library, California State University Chico)