How to make sure your information sources are solid
Being able to critically evaluate information sources is a key digital literacy skill. With assignment time rapidly approaching, it’s important to make sure you know how to evaluate information before you reference it in your work.
You can use the memorable CRAAP checklist to get started:
- Currency – how current is the information?
- Relevance – is it relevant to your topic?
- Authority – who created the information?
- Accuracy – is the information supported by evidence?
- Purpose – why does the information exist?
On the Deakin Library website, we have put together a list of the five key things to check when analysing whether an information source is valid.
- Can you identify who the author is?
- What authority does the author have?
- Do they have affiliations, credentials or a specific reason for publishing the information?
2. Type of Information
- Look at the URL or address. Where did the document originate?
- Is the information scholarly, governmental, from a private business or association, or an advertisement?
- Do other reputable Internet sites point to this one?
- Is the author making an argument for personal gain, offering an opinion, giving a factual report or relaying a personal observation?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the information from original research, experiments, observation, interviews, books or documents?
- Are references provided?
- How old is the information?
- Has the content been updated recently?
If you can’t find the answer to these questions, that may be reason enough not to use a particular website or resource.
For more information, check out our Evaluating Information Sources video.