Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
University of Southern MaineLibraries

NUR 100: Intro to Professional Nursing (Zuckerman): Library Session

Learning objectives for this classroom sessions (Fall 2022)

After our library session, you will be able to:

Types of Articles - Scholarly vs Popular

  • Distinguish between scholarly and popular articles 
  • Identify some of the characteristics typical of scholarly articles
  • Check availability of a "known item" cited in another resource
  • Begin to think critically about both scholarly and popular articles and their audiences and functions

Levels of information

  • Use context to determine what kind of information is appropriate
  • Recognize levels of evidence in peer-reviewed and scholarly health literature

All Sources

  • Identify several reliable options to finding information
  • Evaluate unknown sources using the CRAAP or SIFT method

Evaluating Sources

CRAAP Test: Evaluate any source

  • Currency: How timely is the information? When was the information published or posted? Has it been revised or updated? Does your topic or question require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Relevancy: How well does the information meet your needs? Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? Who is the intended audience? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
    Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Authority: What is the source of the information? Who is the author or publisher? Is there a sponsor? What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations? Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Accuracy: How reliable is the information? Where does the information come from? Is the information supported by evidence? Has the information been reviewed or refereed (peer review, editing)? Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge? Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion? Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
  • Purpose: Why does this information exist? Is it intended to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade? Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear? Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda? Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

SIFT method: Evaluating web sources

  • Stop: When you open a website, ask yourself whether you know the site or source of the information, and what the reputation of both the claim and the website is. If you don’t have that information, use the other moves (I-F-T) to get a sense of what you’re looking at. Don’t share media until you know what it is.
  • Investigate the source: Find out more about the author. Do a search about the website or publisher. 
  • Find better coverage: If you're not sure about the source, look for more coverage, reporting, or information on a topic from a more trusted or reliable source.
  • Trace claims to the original source or context: Follow links. Look for references. Try to find the original source of a claim. If the article is a newspaper, is everything being claimed supported by interviews and reporting? Are the sources anonymous or named? If numbers or statistics are referenced, can you find the original study? Does the original information match what you are looking at now?

5 Ws (plus 1 H)

  • What: What type of document is it?
  • Who: Who created the document?
  • Why: Why was the document published?
  • When: When was the document published?
  • Where: Where did this information come from? (Publisher, type of publication, audience)
  • How: How was the information gathered and presented?

 Creative Commons License

CRAAP Info adapted from Website Research: CRAAP Test by Rebecca Hill Renirie

Articles to compare

Library Scavenger Hunt