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Research Skills: Assessing Resources

Date Published: 05/08/2019

Students are bombarded with information from the internet, but how do they discern trustworthy sources from those less credible or even false? In our digital environment and the era of  ‘fake news’,  it is essential for students to develop the research and critical literacy skills needed to navigate the information landscape.

The responsibility for assessing the merit of information lies with you!

To help students with the issue of assessing resources, they can find helpful tips from the Study Skills Handbook, located under the Quicklinks tab on the website. By going to the Research Skills section, students can view the following video and access strategies to help them verify the authenticity and accuracy of information sources.

CRAAP Test

Students should also put information through the CRAAP Test which helps to identify the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose of their sources. Using it requires asking the following questions.

Currency

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out of date or too old for the project?

Relevance

Is the information related to your research topic?

  • Is it an in-depth examination or a quick summary?
  • Who’s the intended audience? The general public, a student, researcher or industry?
  • Is the level of information too basic or advanced?

Authority

Consider who wrote or published the information.

  • Can you identify the author?
  • Are they an expert in their field?
  • What else have they written on the topic?
  • Can you verify the author’s credentials or the organisation they represent?

Accuracy

Is the information reliable and correct?

  • Can you verify claims in the information in other sources?
  • Is there a reference list citing their supporting evidence?
  • Do they outline the methods and data used in their analysis?

Purpose

Is the intention of the information to entertain, inform, educate or perhaps sell an idea or product?

The CRAAP Test. Critically evaluating information sources. QUT Library
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