Using credible information will improve the quality of your assessment and may result in better marks, but how can you tell whether the resources you've found are credible and suitable for your assessment? Have you been asked to use peer reviewed or refereed articles? Are you using authoritative websites?
There is no definitive way to calculate the quality of an information source. However, there are certain indicators that, in combination, can help you determine if the source you are considering is reputable. There are many evaluation methods you can use to assess an information source. Many of these methods apply to journals and journal articles, which will likely be the most common resource type referenced in your research.
The information below will help you evaluate the information you find, in books, journal articles, or online to make sure it’s reliable.
|Evaluation Method||Used to Access|
|CRAP test||Any resource type|
|Peer Review||Journals, journal articles|
Articles published in peer reviewed or refereed journals have been through a formal approval process. This process is intended to ensure that the article is:
To find peer reviewed articles:
However, as these options are just an indication of peer review status the definitive way to find out if your article has been peer reviewed is to use Ulrichsweb Global Periodicals Directory.
Use the CRAP test to evaluate any resources you want to use in your assessments.
History of educational theories - older resources may be appropriate
Social media in education - older resources may not be appropriate
A satirical news website (e.g. Betoota Advocate)
A not for profit media group sourcing content from academics and researchers (e.g. The Conversation)
An article written by a self-appointed expert that appears on a blog
A peer reviewed article written by a team of university academics
A webpage on diabetes from a pharmacy company that produces drugs to treat diabetes. They may have a vested interest.
Diabetes information from a government website such as Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW). They have no vested interest.
You are required to use peer reviewed articles for your assessment task.
Open the Ulrichsweb database and check whether the articles you have found are from peer reviewed journals.
Remember to search using the journal title, not the article title.
The website domain gives you an idea of the reliability of a website:
.edu (educational institution)
|These are more likely to be reliable and unbiased.|
.org (non-profit organisation)
.asn (non-commercial organisation)
|Sometimes these organisations may show a bias toward one side of a topic.|
.com (commercial site)
Critically evaluate these sites as they may be unreliable.
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