Skip to main content

Find and use information: Choose and evaluate

This guide is to help postgraduates or undergraduates

Introduction to choosing and evaluating resources

The types of information you use in every situation depends on your purpose or need  in that situation. At University you will often be expected to use a variety of resources and some, like academic journal articles, that you may not have encountered before.

Watch the videos on this page to learn about types of resources, and evaluating information for credibility and relevance.

Then test your knowledge: take the quiz.  Answers are below; try not to peek!

TRAAP test - a way to evaluate information

 

  • Timeliness
    • Find the date of publication (or copyright)
    • Is this date appropriate for your research?
  • Relevance
    • Does the information relate to your topic?
    • Can you use this information to support the argument you wish to make?
  • Authority
    • Is the author or creator identified?
    • Does he or she have relevant qualifications?
    • Who is the publisher?
    • Web - Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .ne
  • Accuracy
    • Is the information supported by references?
    • Does the content seem neutral and free of emotion?
    • Are there errors in spelling or grammar?
  • Purpose
    • Is the information brief or detailed?
    • What group of readers (audience) is the information for?
    • What is the purpose of the content? Is it to educate, inform, entertain or sell?
    • Is the content scholarly or popular?

choosing the best resource #1

what would you use to read today's news?
AUT Library website: 5 votes (10%)
Textbook on your topic: 1 votes (2%)
Academic, peer reviewed journal article: 8 votes (16%)
Vogue magazine: 1 votes (2%)
Time magazine: 2 votes (4%)
watch a You Tube video: 1 votes (2%)
read stuff.co.nz: 19 votes (38%)
Pick up a newspaper from your dairy: 13 votes (26%)
Total Votes: 50
Tallying of poll votes may be delayed up to 60 seconds.

choosing the best resource #4

what resource might you use for a demonstration on using a bunsen burner?
University textbook: 0 votes (0%)
AUT Library website: 0 votes (0%)
peer reviewed article: 0 votes (0%)
YouTube video: 4 votes (66.67%)
AUT Library website: 2 votes (33.33%)
ask a friend: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 6

Types of articles

Evaluating news

How to Spot Fake News

By IFLA (http://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Keepin' it real - tips and strategies for evaluating fake news - Library guide from William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University , Los Angeles.

Learning resources

choosing the best resource #2

what would you use to find out the AUT Library opening hours?
NZ Herald website: 1 votes (16.67%)
Time magazine: 0 votes (0%)
on YouTube: 0 votes (0%)
on Facebook: 0 votes (0%)
AUT Library website: 5 votes (83.33%)
ask a friend: 0 votes (0%)
a peer reviewed journal article: 0 votes (0%)
AUT student handbook: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 6

choosing the best resource #5

what would you use to get general factual information on a topic??
a good friend: 0 votes (0%)
your mum or dad: 0 votes (0%)
a peer reviewed article: 2 votes (40%)
a .com website: 0 votes (0%)
a university textbook: 3 votes (60%)
Time magazine: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 5

How to evaluate sources using the 5 Ws

TRAAP model for evaluating resources - video

Evaluating resources

choosing the best resource #3

what would you use when researching an academic essay?
The Auckland Art Gallery: 0 votes (0%)
any online newspaper: 0 votes (0%)
.com website: 0 votes (0%)
.govt website: 0 votes (0%)
peer reviewed journal article: 5 votes (83.33%)
trade journal: 1 votes (16.67%)
an interesting blog: 0 votes (0%)
talking to an expert: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 6

choosing the best resource #6

what would you choose to learn about the latest fashion looks?
a fashion blogger: 0 votes (0%)
your mum or dad: 1 votes (12.5%)
Vogue magazine: 5 votes (62.5%)
today's newspaper: 0 votes (0%)
a peer reviewed journal article: 0 votes (0%)
your university textbook: 2 votes (25%)
Total Votes: 8

Quiz answers

#1 - stuff.co.nz  or a newspaper are the best choices here

#2 - AUT library website or AUT Library Facebook page

#3 - A peer reviewed article  is the first choice, although all of these may be useful, depending on what you have been asked to do.

#4 - A YouTube video would do it, but a friend may be useful too!

#5 -A university textbook is your best bet here

#6 - It depends on your taste - probably Vogue or a fashion blogger