Researching for your assignment

There are lots of pathways to find information and it is often difficult to judge which sources might be appropriate for your assignment. The answer is CRAAP!

What are the CRAAP guidelines? They are a list of questions to help your evaluate the information you find. CRAAP = Currency, Reliability, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose.

Currency

Currency When was the information published or posted? How current is the information?  Do you need current information, older sources or both? When was the resource was last updated? If there are references and links, how current are they? The old or the new? Newspapers are very up to date, but not necessarily established information Journal articles can be relatively current and contain reliable information Books typically contain older but more established information.

Relevance

Relevance. Does it relate to my topic and needs? Who is the intended audience? Does it help me answer a question or solve a problem? Will it lead to other information? Does it provide evidence for or support my ideas? What does it add to my work?

Authority

Who is the source of the information?Who is the author, publisher, source or sponsor of the information?Are the authors’ and/or publishers’ affiliations clear?What is their reason for publishing the material?For websites, does the domain of the URL tell you anything about the author or source (.gov, .edu, .com, .org)?Limit your resultsYou can limit results in Google to a particular domain using the ‘site:’ function.E.g. wheat and climate change site:.gov.au

Accuracy

Is the information true and accurate? Where does the information come from? Is the information supported by evidence? Can that evidence be verified if necessary? Are there spelling, grammar or other errors? Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Purpose

Why does the information exist? What is the purpose of the information? Is the information factual or opinion? Is the information biased? Is the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade? Is the website sponsored or influenced by advertising revenue?

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