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Social Sciences Guide to Research

Evaluating Resources

Not sure if a source is valid? This video explains how you can tell -- by using the CRAAP test. (2:10)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

When evaluating sources consider:

1. Suitability- Is there relevant information?

2. Objectivity- Can you detect the bias?

3. Accuracy and Credibility- Corroborate with other sources and check references.

4. Currency- What is the date of publication?

5. Authority- Who is the author and publisher?

The National Library of Jamaica (2010). Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources: An Online TutorialAvailable from:

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Watch the video to learn about the differences between scholarly and popular sources! (2:06)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Scholarly versus Popular Articles   What are the differences?    Authors: Scholarly authors may be researchers and scholars such as university professors. Popular source authors include staff writers such as journalists and freelance writers.    Audience: Scholarly audience could include professors, students, and other researchers. Popular source audiences are the general public.    Purpose: Scholarly articles are written to present and share original research or experiments. The purpose of popular sources is to inform, entertain or persuade the general public.    Language: Scholarly articles use formal, technical and specialized language. Popular sources use every day language.    References: Scholarly sources use footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies and suggested reading. Popular sources typically use few to no citations.

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