Research and evaluating sources is something we do in our everyday lives. This page will introduce some common evaluation techniques and strategies. However, it's important to note a few principles to help guide your evaluation.
Truth claims and analysis
You will often be evaluating a resource on two levels:
The strategies offered below can be applied to either of the two levels to varying degrees.
Familiarity with subject matter
It is difficult to evaluate a resource when you don't have much familiarity with the subject matter. However, we can't be experts in every single thing we want to evaluate. For areas you are less familiar with, you may be required to do a bit more background or parallel reading before feeling comfortable evaluating a source.
Knowledge is iterative
Knowledge and understanding is iterative, experimental, and multidimensional. Don't treat any one source as the ultimate authority on a topic and be willing to explore and consider alternative perspectives. Your understanding of the topic will and should evolve as you expand your resources.
|Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash
Image retrieved from a University of Torotnto Mississauga libguide
Currency: The timeliness of information.
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.
Purpose: The reason the information exists
The CRAAP Test was designed by librarians at the Meriam Library California State University, Chico
SIFT was developed as an alternative to "checklist" methods.