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This guide is meant for YSP participants to get to know academic resources and how to access them.

Evaluating Sources of Information

Evaluating the sources you find on a topic is an important part of your research activity. Not all information you find is valid, useful, or accurate. Some questions you need to ask while searching for and reading an information source are:

  • Is the information relevant and valid for my research?
  • Is my topic covered in enough depth that the source will be helpful?
  • Is the content of the source fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • How current is the information provided?

For other questions to ask and further tips on evaluating your sources, consult:

Standards of Evaluation: The CRAAP Test

  • Currency or Timeliness
    • When was the information published or posted?
    • Do the links still work?
    • Has the information been revised? If so, when?
    • Is the information current or out-of-date?
  • Relevancy or Importance
    • Does the information relate to the topic at hand?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • Is the information given at an appropriate level?
    • Have you viewed and considered a variety of other sources?
    • Is the source appropriate to use for a research paper?


  • Authority or Source
    • Who is the author/creator/publisher/sponsor?
      • What else have they published on the topic?
    • Are their credentials provided?
      • Author's qualifications to write on topic at hand?
      • Author's credentials/affiliations provided?
      • Contact information given?
    • Does the URL relate to the author/source?
      • .gov, .edu, .org, etc. 
  • Accuracy or Reliability 
    • Where does the information come from?
      • Is the information supported by evidence?
      • Is the information reviewed? 
        • Scholarly, peer-reviewed, edited, etc.
    • Can the information be verified in another source?
      • Other people
      • Other resources
    • Does the information sync up with your personal knowledge?
      • Are any statements present that you know are false?
    • Is the language/tone free of bias?
    • Are there any spelling, grammar, or other errors?
    • Are images credited?
  • Purpose or Reasoning
    • Is the purpose to inform, teach, persuade, entertain, etc.
    • Is the purpose made clear by the author?
    • What is the information -- fact, opinion, propaganda?
    • Is the point of view objective and unbiased?
      • Religious, cultural, political bias?
      • Any strong language?
    • Are other points of view provided?
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