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Research Guides

MIE315: Design for the Environment

Using the CRAAP Test

Use the "CRAAP" Test criteria to evaluate the credibility information that you find.  If the information doesn't pass the test, you probably should not use it as a source. For more information, download the CRAAP Test Checklist in the link below. 

Currency The timeliness of the information.
Relevance The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority The source of the information.
Accuracy The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Purpose The reason the information exists. 

Scholarly vs. popular articles

When doing research, people use a variety of sources. Popular articles are a good starting point and place to get background information. Scholarly or research articles are considered credible sources of information and can help support claims through research.

Scholarly articles... Popular articles...
are written by researchers, university faculty and scholars are written by free-lance or salaried reporters and writers
use the technical language of a specific research area use language the general public would understand
usually have a reference list and may be peer-reviewed* rarely have a reference list

*Peer-review articles are assessed for quality by researchers in the field before they are published. This generally makes them credible sources; however you still need to check these sources carefully as errors do occur!

Use the directory (UlrichsWeb) below to help determine if a journal or periodical is peer-reviewed:

Still not sure what peer-review mean? Use the link below for more information. 

Also be careful to avoid citing from predatory journals! These journals are fake journals that charge authors a significant amount of money to publish their research (or fake research in some cases!) without checking the credibility of the research or sometimes even without even reading the paper before publishing it! These types of journals should never be cited. 

Tips for finding credible websites

Some tips and tricks to help you get started: