You should analyze all the information you come across - regardless of whether you're looking for information for academic, professional, or personal reasons. Evaluating information encourages you to think critically about whether or not it is factual and reliable.
A perk of utilizing the library's resources and databases are the filters that you can utilize. Most databases allow you to search for peer-reviewed sources only. If you limit your searches to peer-reviewed content only, that means some of the evaluation and vetting has been done for you. instead, you can then focus on whether or not it is current enough and relevant to your needs.
However, if you are utilizing information on the world wide web, you'll need to be extra vigilant and cautious. Generally speaking, anyone can publish anything on the internet. That means that most of what you'll find there is published without any type of formal review process.
There are evaluation systems that you can utilize to assist you with resource selection. As an example, the CRAAP method is displayed below. A list of other popular evaluation systems can be located at the bottom of this box.
When using the CRAAP method, you'll want to consider the following:
1. Currency - the timeliness of the information
2. Relevance - the importance of the information for your needs
3. Authority - the source of the information
4. Accuracy - the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the information
5. Purpose - the reason the information exists