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First Year Experience: UNIV 1152

This guide is designed to introduce new students to RSU Libraries and the research process. The required library module for UNIV 1152 is also housed here.

Evaluate your sources

If you're searching for sources outside of RSU Libraries' resources, then you need to evaluate the sources you find to make sure they are reliable. When evaluating an online source, use the following questions from the CRAP test!

  • Currency - Is the source recent or too outdated for your topic?
  • Reliability - Is the source Primary? Secondary? Peer-reviewed? Balanced?
  • Authority - Does the source have an author? Is the author a subject expert?
  • Purpose - Does the information contain bias? Is the intent to inform, persuade, advertise, or entertain? 

Here follows a list of the most common domain suffixes and the types of organizations that would use them.

.com
Commercial site. The information provided by commercial interests is generally going to shed a positive light on the product it promotes. While this information might not necessarily be false, you might be getting only part of the picture. Remember, there's a monetary incentive behind every commercial site in providing you with information, whether it is for good public relations or to sell you a product outright.

.edu
Educational institution. Sites using this domain name are schools ranging from kindergarten to higher education. Information from sites within this domain must be examined very carefully. If it is from a department or research center at a educational institution, it can generally be taken as credible. However, students' personal Web sites are not usually monitored by the school even though they are on the school's server and use the .edu domain.

.gov
Government. If you come across a site with this domain, then you're viewing a federal government site. All branches of the United States federal government use this domain. Information such as Census statistics, Congressional hearings, and Supreme Court rulings would be included in sites with this domain. The information is considered to be from a credible source.

.org
Traditionally a non-profit organization. Organizations such as the American Red Cross or PBS (Public Broadcasting System) use this domain suffix. Generally, the information in these types of sites is credible and unbiased, but there are examples of organizations that strongly advocate specific points of view over others, such as the National Right to Life Committee and Planned Parenthood. You probably want to give this domain a closer scrutiny these days. 

.net
Network. You might find any kind of site under this domain suffix. It acts as a catch-all for sites that don't fit into any of the preceding domain suffixes. Information from these sites should be given careful scrutiny.

 

Found on: https://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit07/internet07_08.phtml