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Evidence Based Practice: Evaluating Sources

Why Use Library Resources?

The following short video describes the benefits of using library resources and specialist databases, rather than just using Google!

Scholarly Journals

Different sources can be used for different purposes.  Some such as Blogs and Wikipedia may be useful to give you background information to help you gain an understanding of your topic but it will not be acceptable as a reference to support your assignment.  The youtube below outlines what a scholarly or peer reviewed source is.  If you need to verify if your source is peer reviewed you can use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory.

Credible Sources: Are they CRAAP?

The CRAAP test had its origins in the US to help students successfully evaluate and find reliable information. The test has seen many variations but in general if something is CRAAP, that's a good thing! CRAAP stands for: 

Credible

Relevant

Authoritative

Accurate

Purpose

These are the types of things you want to check for, regardless of source type (books, articles, web sites, blogs, etc.) The following YouTube by Western University gives a brief overview of applying the CRAAP criteria and the full criteria can be found as a pdf here

What To Use - Summon, Google Scholar or Google?

When researching you may be looking for both scholarly material such as that found in library databases (Summon) and Google Scholar as well as authoritive government sites and geographical information which can be found using Google.  Each of the search tools is useful for different purposes.

  • Summon searches across our collections - Books, eBooks, conference papers and journals articles and databases
  • Google Scholar picks up additional information including scholarly literature that is not in our local collection but it excludes our books and ebooks
  • Advanced Google or Google searches will include credible government sources relevant to your unit but you need to evaluate these sources to ensure they are credible
  • Subject Libguides provide links to particular databases and sources that have been evaluated by your Liaison Librarian as relevant to your topic of study.
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