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Carrington College Library: Evaluate Resources?

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Evaluating Resources: Why is this Important?

Writing college-level research papers requires you to use academic sources. Academic sources are ones that are based on evidence, written by experts in the field, typically have references, have gone through peer review, and contain supporting data such as charts, surveys, and tables. Use the following criteria to help your evaluate your sources.

C CURRENCY Is the information up-to date?
R RELEVANCE Is the information relevant for your needs?
A AUTHORITY Is it written by an expert in the field?
A ACCURACY Does the information appear accurate? Is it backed up by facts? Are the links working?
P PURPOSE Are they trying to sell you something? Sway your opinon? Educate you? Entertain you?


By Wintec City Library 3:52

C.R.A.P.P. Test by Jessica Pool, School Librarian (1:59)


Used with Permission from NC State University Libraries

Peer Review: Why is this Important?

Peer Review is the process where something is published ONLY AFTER it has been reviewed and accepted by other experts in the same field. It is a rigorous process and helps publishers distribute factual and credible studies. Many Academic Journals use the peer-review process.

Peer Review

Used with Permission from NC State University Libraries

Information Cycle/Timeline: Why is this Important?

The Information Timeline/Cycle  describes the way information is produced and distributed, and how it changes over time. It's used to describe the progression of media coverage relating to a particular newsworthy event or topic. Important aspects to help you with your paper or project include:

  • Helps determine validity of sources
  • Provides popular opinion when the event occurred
  • Determines the type of resources you want to use (social media, news media coverage, newspapers, magazine articles, journal articles, books, etc)

Information Timeline/Cycle - Answers "How long has your topic existed?"



Hurricane Katrina

Sample of information cycle

(UW Oshkosh Libraries)




The Information Cycle

Sample Timeline

(Krueger Library - Winona State University)