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CHEMISTRY 4600 Winter 2019

Course Guide for Sharon Brewer's Class

Evaluating Information

This guide is designed to help students recognize high quality information in online databases, in print, and on the web, by developing critical evaluation skills.

Finding credible print and online resources for your research papers can be challenging.  You want your information to be accurate, and from reputable sites and authors.  This Guide will help you to start looking at websites and paper sources with a more skillful eye.

CRAAP Principles

For both paper and online resources, there are certain criteria to look at:

  • Currency: Is the information recent, or have there been newer updates?
  • Relevancy: Why are you choosing this information over other resources? What is the scope? Is this resource general or specific?
  • Accuracy: Is this information correct? Can it be verified? Is it complete? Is it cited? Is it peer-reviewed?
  • Authority: Is the author, creator, qualifications, or organization clearly stated? What is their reputation? What type of credentials do they have, and are they appropriate to your topic?
  • Purpose: Who is the intended audience? Is the site trying to sell anything? What biases does the author have and how do they affect the resource?

Source: Meriam Library, California State University, Chico CA.