This handout will provide some direction and hints for conducting research in response to the assignments for this class and provide a foundation for best practices in using library resources. It should also amplify the course objectives and provide you with evidence and data to substantiate arguments and apply information in appropriate and relevant ways. It may be simple to rely upon Google, or even Google Scholar but it is not always the most reliable scholarly information that will meet your needs.
Point of departure: This guide is specifically addressing the needs of this class and is a "subset" of the Public Health Resource Guide.
When using Online or Internet Resources, consider Search Engines vs. metasites - evaluate resource - be attentive to domain -may include .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net
Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test
For Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose
Goal is to establish relevancy. The evaluation criteria includes these issues:
Scope of coverage
Currency – be able to distinguish currency from timeliness
Relevance – meaningful to what audience; at what level; will you cite it as authoritative?
Authority – stem is author – establishes the source of the information – author/publisher/source/sponsor; organizational affiliations & credentials; contact information
Accuracy – reliability, correctness of content; supported by evidence; is it verifiable; is tone unbiased, objective, impartial & free of emotion; free of errors?
Purpose – are hypotheses and authors’ intentions clear? Why is content important – to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade? Any political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
Ease of use – Capturing, copying, citing; design & presentation