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The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
... evaluate the relevance and reliability of information sources?
When you are shopping, sometimes you go into different stores inquiring about the quality, price and availability of an item, this is called 'shopping around'. When using information, it is important to evaluate whether or not the sources found would be relevant to your research. This is called evaluating your sources, and incorporates the same 'shopping around' concept.
Whether information is found online or in print format, it is important to critically evaluate its relevance, reliability and usefulness (among other things). This academic probing, so to speak, is a crucial at the tertiary level and will help in determining the soundness of an information resource.
Many students may click on the first links in search results in Google or use a Wikipedia entry to complete academic papers. However, at the tertiary level, deeper investigation is required and students are expected to consult a variety of sources and evaluate them to determine their relevance in completing an assignment. The CRAAP test is useful in this regard.
This video by Dr Bob Baker, Community Campus Library Director, Pima Community College explores the criteria to apply when evaluating both traditional and open web resources. He talks about including authority, timeliness, bias, and accuracy/credibility of content.
Use the CRAAP test to evaluate your sources!
Developed at Meriam Library California State University, Chico. The CRAAP test is a list of questions one should ask when doing research.
Currency > : > The timeliness of the 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
Meriam Library, California State University, Chico