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
By scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = worst, 10=best possible) you can give each site a grade on a 50 point scale for how high-quality it is!
45 - 50 Excellent | 40 - 44 Good | 35 - 39 Average | 30 - 34 Borderline Acceptable | Below 30 - Unacceptable
Note: the CRAAP test was developed by librarians at CSU Chico.
Journals, magazines, and newspapers can be divided into four basic categories:
2. General Interest / Substantive News
SCHOLARLY journals require articles to be reviewed by other experts or scholars in the same field (thus "peer reviewed") who must agree that the article in question meets the standards of that profession. This ensures that the content of the article is as valid and reliable as possible.
How do you tell if a journal is scholarly? Look for an abstract, or citations in the form of bibliographies. These are both clues. Most importantly, though, the databases in GALILEO allow you to modify your searches to include only those materials that are peer reviewed!
(More information on the four basic categories can be found here!)
Author - is the author an expert in his/her field?
Purpose - what kind of information is the book trying to convey?
Publisher - who made the book available?
Language - how sophisticated is the language used in the text?
Evidence - what sources does the author use to draw conclusions?
(This is just a brief list - for more on distinguishing a popular book from a scholarly book, go HERE!)
Primary and Secondary Sources
Primary sources are those documents or physical objects written or created during the time under study. In other words, these sources were present at that time, and offer an inside view of a particular event.
Some types of primary sources include:
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS: Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records
CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art
RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings
Examples of primary sources include:
Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII
The U. S. Constitution - American history
A journal article reporting NEW research or findings
Confederate sword - Civil War history
Plato's Republic - Women in Ancient Greece
Secondary sources interpret and analyze primary sources. These sources are a step removed from the primary source. They may include quotes, images, or other parts of a primary source, but they are not themselves primary. Your textbooks would be considered secondary sources, and so would a book ABOUT the Civil War, or an article reviewing several original research projects.