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One way to evaluate sources, including those on the web, is to ask yourself these five questions:
1. Currency: How up to date is the information in this site?
2. Relevance: How relevant is the information for your needs? Is it an appropriate level (not too elementary or too advanced)?
3. Authority: Who is responsible for the information in this source? What are their credentials?
4. Accuracy: Does the source provide evidence to support the information? Can it be found elsewhere?
5. Purpose: What is the purpose? Is it to teach, sell, persuade?
This test was developed by librarian Sarah Blakeslee and her team at California State University, Chico.
The Library owns or subscribes to literally millions of resources, specifically chosen with scholarship in mind
The Library's resources provide access to quality information that, for the most part, is not available on the open Web.
Google, on the other hand, is a commercial venture. You can find some good material there, but the results list is based on popularity rather than on scholarly content and quality.
A scholarly article appears in a publication, such as a journal, which is made up of articles on a narrow topic and which document and discuss the results of original research. Publishing in a scholarly journal is a method researchers use to communicate their research and share with other scholars in their field of study.
A popular article appears in a magazine or newspaper that you may buy at the supermarket. The content in these publications often covers current events or summarizes research done by others. The content in these publications is often brief, written in simple language, and may include pictures and advertisements. Authors are not always named, and sources are not always identified.
Research, and the literature review in particular, is a cyclical process. There is an art to the sometimes messy, thrilling, and frustrating process of conducting a lit review.
Conducting a literature review
Writing a literature review