Get Started with Basic Research: Information Sources

info question Facebook Twitter user Ask Skip the menu to the main content

Types of Information Sources:

  • books
  • reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias)
  • periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals)
  • websites

When researching a topic, you need to investigate a variety of sources to gather information.  Watch the videos below for an overview on how information sources are created and the differences between popular and scholarly periodicals.

Which one is scholarly?

(click on image to enlarge)

Related Library Guides:

How to Evaluate Sources:



"CRAAP" Test Tips:

Use the "CRAAP" Test criteria to evaluate the information that you find in print and on websites!  If the information doesn't pass the test, you probably should not use it as a source.

Currency

  • When was it published/posted or last updated?
  • Do you need current information, or are older sources acceptable?

Relevance

  • Does it relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level?  Too advanced?  Too easy?

Authority

  • Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
  • What are their credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

Accuracy

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has it been reviewed or refereed?

Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial, free of emotion, and unbiased?