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The links and resources on this guide are not meant to be an exhaustive list. It is likely that you will find other sources on your own in addition to these. There are many reliable data sources available on the Web, but there are other sources as well that may provide inaccurate information either intentionally (e.g. biased agenda) or unintentionally (outdated).
The key is knowing how to find, evaluate, and utilize sources effectively. All types of sources need this level of scrutiny, whether in print or online, whether text-based or data sets.
The information in the modules below addresses aspects of these three critical elements of being savvy consumers of information.
Tips for finding:
The above describes two common methods for beginning your search - when you are in a phase of discovery. However, you may already have some sources you know exist, but need to find a "known item."
To find known items, I recommend starting with 1Search, and trying the advanced search or the A-Z journals list:
The 1Search Advanced Search lets you fine tune your results from the start. You can also refine your results after running a search:
As you are finding resources you want to review them with a critical eye, particularly if you found them via a Search Engine and are unfamiliar with the source.
Librarians at CSU Chico developed the CRAAP test for evaluating resources. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.
Take a few minutes to remind yourself of ways in which to evaluate sources by reviewing the criteria included on the CRAAP test.
The Library How-To Guides provide an excellent place to look for help with citing sources - whether for websites, books, or articles.
Do remember that it is critical to cite your sources. Reasons to cite sources include:
And all materials should be cited. Just because a work is freely available, does not mean the above rationale does not apply.
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