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Evaluating Sources For The Academic Community

This guide is designed to help students select appropriate websites for his/her academic papers and projects.

Evaluating Sources using the CRAAP Test

For any type of source, the CRAAP Test is a helpful way to determine if the information you find is reliable and relevant to your research.

VIDEO: Evaluating Sources for Credibility

Video by North Carolina State University

How to Spot Fake News

How to spot fake news

Library vs. Google

You're probably used to using Google to look for information. For daily information needs like finding a recipe or looking up a movie time, Google is a quick and easy way to find information. However, when you do academic research, you will be expected to go beyond Google and use the library's resources to access information. Why?

Library Search


Library web resources are carefully reviewed and selected by librarians based on their reliability, relevance, and value to academic research.

Information retrieved by Google does not go through a review process. Anyone can publish on the web.
Librarians organize library web resources to help you easily decide which databases and journals you need for your research. Internet resources are not organized. There are too many pages for any search engine, like Google, to organize by subject matter.

Use the Library Website to:

  • Find scholarly articles in journals
  • Find articles published in popular magazines
  • Find primary source material
  • Find books on your topic
  • Locate the full text of articles or books

Use Google or another search engine to:

  • Find background information and opinions on your topic
  • Locate information on specific organizations, companies, or non-profits
  • Find current information such as news, weather, stock quotes

Adapted from University of Rhode Island University Libraries.

VIDEO: Why Can't I Just Google?

Video by La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia