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Human and Organizational Development Resources (HOD): Evaluating Your Sources

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals Video

The majority of your course assignments here at Peabody will require you to locate peer reviewed literature.This video was created to help you unravel the differences between popular magazines and scholarly journals.

The P.S.T. Literature Blocks

Understanding the structure of published literature is a necessity in order to use library resources effectively. Learn the basics of primary, secondary, and tertiary literature using this infographic. Click image to enlarge 

Tips for Evaluating Sources

During the research process, you will encounter many types of sources such as books, articles and Web sites. But not everything you find on your topic is suitiable for use. Evaluating resources is a critical component when conducting research. The C.R.A.P. Method is a great technique that will help you understand when a source has quality or not.

The C.R.A.P. Method is:

  • Currency   How current is the information? Can you locate when the resource was last updated?
  • Reliability   What kind of information is presented? Is the information balanced or biased?
  • Authority   Who is the author? What are their credentials?
  • Purpopse/Point of View  What is the purpose of the resource? Is the author presenting fact or their opinion?

Other things to consider when evaluating a resource include:

  • What type of information do you need? Are you writing a literature review or research paper? The type of information you need depends on your project.
  • If you use a Web site, look at the URL address. Addresses ending in .edu, .gov or .org tend to be more reputable than addresses ending with .com or .net 

Librarian

Leslie Foutch's picture
Leslie Foutch
Contact:
Peabody Library
Ground Floor, office #009
615.343.7541
Skype Contact: foutchlj@vanderbilt.edu