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PTS Guide: Search the library

The aim of the Preparation for Tertiary Success or PTS libguide is to provide support to you throughout your personal learning journey.

LIbrary Search

Activity: Evaluating Online Resources

Searching for your keywords in Google comes up with lots and lots of results. But are they suitable to use as an information source (and reference) in academic assignments?

Activity: Use the following evaluation criteria to assess online resources that were located in a search for 'indigenous alcohol mortality'.

Currency - the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been reviewed or updated?  Are the links current and functional if it is a website?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older resources work as well?

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 (ie not too basic or too advanced for your needs?)
  • Is the information unique? (Can it be found in a scholarly book or article rather than a website)              

Authority - the source of the information

  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organisational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the sources eg .com, .edu, .gov, .au

Accuracy - the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the information listed   

  • Is it clear where the information comes from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence? Has the author cited the sources they used?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Is the source free from spelling, grammar or typing errors?

Purpose - the reason why the resource was created

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform or teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Does the author make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial or does the information include strong ideas and words that could signal a bias on the part of the author?

Remember that you may need to dig deeper and have a look at the About / Contact pages to get a better idea of the website or author's credentials.

Applying the CRAAP test

Review the following websites in light of the evaluation criteria to determine if they are appropriate to use for your academic assignments.

Library Search

Distance Library Services

Useful databases

Google Scholar

Change your settings so that Find it @ CDU links automatically appear within Google Scholar in your search results:

1. Click the three horizontal lines (top left) then go to Settings (the cog at the bottom of the list)

2. Click Library links

3. Type in Charles Darwin University and click the search button

4. Tick Charles Darwin University - Find it @ CDU

If you use EndNote, under Bibliography Manager, select EndNote

Click Save

To retain these settings, you must turn on cookies in your browser settings

Charles Darwin University Library links automatically appear when you search Google Scholar on campus.

Alternatively, view this short video on YouTube to set up your preferences.
Google Scholar Search
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