What information do I really need? What information is relevant to answer my question?
Perhaps unexpectedly, this is often where researchers have difficulty. They spend so long FINDING their resources, that they want to use all of them, even if they do not answer their research question. You need to ANALYSE and SELECT what you need.
1, Analyse the type of source - you need to evaluate it for trustworthiness. Use the CRAAP test
Analyse the information - use skim and scan to ensure it is relevant to answering your question. Highlight key points, summarise and condense your notes, to make writing easier.
2. Select the most relevant, interesting and reliable information to answer your research question.
Evaluating Resources: Is your Research CRAAP? All students should start here. This set of slides explains what CRAAP stands for and how to use it.
Evaluating Websites This video tutorial clarifies how to best evaluate the information found on websites with guidance from a librarian. Duration: 1:56
ClickView Fake News Series This series teaches you how to spot non-credible texts.
Now that we've got your attention, use this acronym to evaluate the information you find on the web.
C is for currency. When was the website last updated?
R is for relevance. Is the information useful to you?
A is for authority. Who is publishing the information? If it's from Wikipedia, it could be anyone and is not a reliable source.
A is for accuracy. Think about who published it, and if they are likely to be correct. Is a celebrity or a doctor more likely to give accurate health information? Are there references?
P is for purpose or possible bias. Is the author’s purpose to sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?
One quick way you can determine if a website is trustworthy or not is to look at its domain.
Look for websites that end with the domain:
.edu - reserved for schools, colleges and universities
.gov - denotes a government website
Be wary of websites that end with the domain:
.com - can be purchased and used by any individual for any purpose
.net - can be purchased and used by any individual for any purpose
.org - is usually used by non-profit/charity organisations which may have an agenda of persuasion rather than education
VCE Science students must undertake a research task. Your teacher will give you the exact topic. You must use scholarly articles or academic articles which must be peer reviewed. This video will explain what they are.