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Evaluating resources


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How to evaluate resources

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Evaluating resources

  1. 1. Evaluating Information Great! You’ve found some resources you think will help answer your question. Now what? You need to evaluate them to make sure they are useful, reliable and appropriate for your topic. Laura Sloane 2015
  2. 2. C.A.R.P Test You can evaluate all types of resources—websites, journal articles, government reports or other documents—using the same simple test, known as the C.A.R.P test • CURRENCY • ACCURACY • RELIABILITY • PURPOSE Let’s look at this in more detail…
  3. 3. • When was it written? Is it still in date for your topic? • Is historical or current information required to answer your question? • Who wrote it? • Are they qualified to have an opinion on this topic? • Is the source trustworthy? • Does the author support their argument with references? • What is the perspective of the piece? • Does it push an opinion or is it factual?
  4. 4. Tips for evaluating specific resources
  5. 5. Websites The internet is a fantastic search tool which you shouldn’t be afraid of using. However, because anyone can publish a webpage and say whatever they want, it needs to be more carefully evaluating than other resources. The New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner, July 5, 1993.Image from Wikipedia
  6. 6. One way to evaluate a website if by checking the domain name to see who has published it: Most Reliable Evaluate carefully Best avoided .edu (educational sites) .gov (government) .ac (academic) .org (organizations) .net (networks) .asn (association) .com (commercial websites) Also check for an identifiable author, publication or update date and any references or links provided TIP! Play it safe. If you’re not sure about the reliability of a website, it is best to steer clear.
  7. 7. Government Resources Government resources are assumed to be reliable, given that their main role is to provide accurate information to Parliament or the public. In fact, they can be some of the most useful sources as they are normally comprehensive and up to date. However, they still need to be evaluated. A research report will have very different content and purpose to a press release by a Minister. So keep in mind C.A.R.P principles—particularly with regards to the purpose of the information
  8. 8. Journal Articles Is it peer reviewed? A peer reviewed journal has been through a formal process where it is evaluated by subject specialists before publication. In this process they check that what the journal has to say is accurate and appropriately researched. Most databases will have an option in advanced search to limit your results to peer reviewed articles, but the best way is to use the Ulrichsweb database
  9. 9. Using Ulrichsweb To use Ulrichsweb, simply type the journal title in the search bar and click the search icon The referee jumper indicates that the journal is peer reviewed
  10. 10. If you click on the title of the journal it will give you more information:
  11. 11. Remember! You can always ask a librarian if you need help evaluating resources or using Ulrichsweb
  12. 12. This presentation was developed using material from: Cassell, K. A., & Hiremath, U. (2013). When and how to use the Internet as a reference tool Reference and information services: An introduction (3rd ed., pp. 263-284). London: Facet Publishing. Charles Sturt University. (2015). Information Literacy: Evaluate Information. Retrieved from