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Gerontology: Evaluating Resources

This guide will help you locate resources such as websites, articles and books.

Not All Resources are Created Equal!

When you need information where do you look?  What kinds of resources do you use?  How will you know if the information is accurate, current and appropriate for your research?

First you must consider the resources available.  In most cases you will be looking at books, articles and websites

 Once you have determined which types of resources are appropriate for your research you need to evaluate them carefully!!  And remember, don't settle for less.  If you are unsure that the information you found is the best information for your topic, ask a librarian for help!

Evaluation Criteria

When searching for information you are going to find lot's and lot's of it.  But how do you know if it is accurate, current and reliable?   Applying the CRAAP Test can help. 

The CRAAP Test is a list of questions that help you determine the quality of the information you found.  So, what are you waiting for?  If you information credible and useful, or it is a bunch of ....?!


Currency: The timeliness of the information

When was the information published or posted?
Has the information been revised or updated?
Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level (not too basic or advanced for your needs)?
Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the best one to use?
Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: The source of the information

Who is the author/source/publisher?
Are the author's credentials given?
Is the author qualified to write on this topic?
Is there contact information, address, or email?
Does the URL reveal anything about the source or author? (.com .edu .gov .org)

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

Where does the information come from?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has the information been reviewed?
Can you verify any of the information in another source or by your own knowledge?
Does the language or tone seem biased?
Are there spelling, grammatical or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

What is the purpose of the information?  to inform? to teach? to sell? to persuade?
Does the author make his/her intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Subject Guide

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Sara Klink
She, Her, Hers
Stark State College
North Canton, Ohio
330-494-6170 Ext: 5449 or 4141 (to reach the library)