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Satan and Hell: Trustworthy Sources

Evaluating Your Materials : Are they Credible or Not Credible?

Video: 
Academic Sources

The CRAP Test

Evaluate Sources Based on the Following Criteria:
Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View

  • Currency
    • How recent is the information?
    • How recently has the website been updated?
    • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Reliability
    • What kind of information is included in the resource?
    • Is content of the resource primarily opinion?  Is is balanced?
    • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
  • Authority
    • Who is the creator or author?
    • What are the credentials?
    • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
    • Are they reputable?
    • What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
    • Are there advertisements on the website?
  • Purpose/Point of View
    • Is this fact or opinion?
    • Is it biased?
    • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

(adapted from LOEX 2008 wiki)

 

 

Video:

Boise State University--Amy Vecchione     (2015)

 

What are scholarly sources?

 

Scholarly or Not

 What is a Scholarly Article or Book?

A scholarly article or book generally is based on original research or experimentation. It is written by a researcher or expert in the field who is often affiliated with a college or university. Most scholarly writing includes footnotes and/or a bibliography and may include graphs or charts as illustrations as opposed to glossy pictures. In addition, articles that appear in scholarly journals or book that are published by academic presses, are subject to a peer-review process, which means that other "experts" or specialist in the field evaluate the quality and originality of the research as precondition of publication.

The peer-review (as opposed to editorial review) process is also one thing that sets scholarly journals apart from journals that may otherwise seem quite similar. Journals such as Foreign Affairs, for instance, are generally not considered "scholarly journals," because many of the articles are solicited by the magazine's editors; in addition many of the articles are written by policy-makers who may be expressing an informed view, but whose article may not be based on original research.

Scholarly research is typically published by a academic association or a university/academic press. 

Academic Journals v. Popular Magazines

If you find yourself confused as to what kind of article your professor wants you to gather for that paper, use this handy chart to determine if you are looking at an academic or popular article.

 


 

Something to Consider about Books -- Just because the library owns a book, it doesn't mean the book qualifies as academic. Use the hints below and in the chart above to determine if the book is scholarly/ academic or popular.

Most of the items in the chart can also apply to books. Ask some of the following questions:

Who is the author and is s/he an expert? Read the book jacket or information often located in the beginning or end of the book. Try Google or Amazon to see what else the author might have written and to check his affiliation. Check the online catalog to see if the library has other items written by the author.

Who is the publisher? Do they have a specialty? University presses, some societies, and some associations usually publish academic titles, but some other publishers do as well. Visit their website to see their focus.

Is there a bibliography, references or footnotes?

What is the language of the book? Is it technical or is it for the general public.

Is it well-organized with a clear structure? Does it have a preface, a table of contents, an introduction, an index?