Why should I evaluate my information?
No one likes to look foolish in front of others, especially not in front of a large audience or a group of one's peers. For this reason, it is necessary to always evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of information you intend to use for research, presentations, speeches, and when making important personal decisions.
The deluge of information available today can be somewhat overwhelming to those inexperienced with the evaluation process. This is why, it is probably a good idea to practice information evaluation often, so that it becomes easier to distinguish between good and bad information sources.
Information Evaluation Suggestions
The C.R.A.A.P. Test
Various information evaluation techniques exist, but perhaps the most popular, is the C.R.A.A.P test, developed by librarians from California State University's Meriam Library. The C.R.A.A.P. test suggests using five criteria to determine if information is accurate and reliable. The five criteria are:
Currency - the timeliness of the information
Relevance - the importance of the information for you needs
Authority - the expertise or knowledge of the author or publisher
Accuracy - the reliability and truthfulness of the information
Purpose - why does the information exist?
Currency - Is the information up-to-date based on your topic? Does information on that topic change rapidly?
Reputation - What is the author's or publisher's credentials? Are they well respected in their field or profession?
Accuracy - Is the information found supported by other sources? Are there frequent typos or grammatical errors?
Bias - Is the information presented objectively? Is it trying to persuade you?
Scope - Does it provide enough coverage of the subject to be useful? Does it have depth on the subject?