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EBIO 2100 - Marine Biology

This guide compliments the curriculum and assignments in EBIO 2100 - Marine Biology

Evaluating Your Information

Encyclopedias:

  • Background information
  • Development and understanding of technical jargon and important terminology
  • Orient yourself to main issues, trends, history, dates and figures
  • Trustworthy encyclopedias will reference scholarly sources.
  • Very brief

Books:

  • General background information
  • Information is more detailed and broad compared to an encyclopedia entry but less specific and technical compared to a Journal article
  • Chapters help identify the main issues and themes of a topic
  • Scholarly books (not Penguin or Harlequin) have references, works cited, bibliographies, etc.
  • Take several years to be written and published. 

Articles:

  • Many different types of articles available such as magazine, newspaper, scholarly or articles from trade magazines
  • Shorter in length compared to books but longer than encyclopedia entries
  • Published quicker than a book or an encyclopedia entry (more up-to-date)
  • Not always scholarly or suitable for academic purposes (see table on Different Types of article)!!!

Theses & Dissertations:

  • Lengthy in-depth papers written to satisfy the requirements for a Masters of PhD
  • Clearly stated on first page or under publication title that this is a thesis or dissertation
  • Significantly longer than a scholarly article but shorter than a book
  • Lengthy Reference list
  • Only evaluated by a small team of their peers (known) for the purpose of graduation
  • Not considered a scholarly peer-reviewed source. 

C- Currency  The timeliness of the information

·         How old is this material?

·         How far back do you really want to go (current research in science vs historical perspective? Facts that haven’t changed (e.g., we need oxygen to survive) vs.  a rapidly changing field of research.

·         Are all of the references cited outdated as well?

R- Relevancy  How relevant is the information for your topic

·         Is the information related to your topic?

·         Is it at a level that you understand (Highly technical meant for others with PhDs outside your field)?

·         Does it add something new to your paper/knowledge? Is this just used for filler?

AAccuracy  Accuracy/truthfulness of the information

·         Are there references or a bibliography/Works cited?

·         Is the information supported by facts and evidence (in-text citations)?

·         Has the information been peer-reviewed before publication

·         Are there spelling errors and typos? Is it poorly written?

AAuthority  The source and expertise of the author(s)

·         Can you identify the author/company/organization/source or sponsor of the article

·         How reputable is the Journal/magazine in which this was published?

·         Are the credentials given (PhD, MD, Team of physicians)

·         Is the author affiliated with a University, Think-Tank, Research Group OR hired by a company or an organization with a goal in mind?

·         What makes the person qualified to write on this topic? (expert vs student)

 P- Purpose  The intention of the information

·         Is it trying to sell, convince, teach, entertain or persuade?

·         Is the authors biased and if so is it clearly stated

·         Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

·         Is it written objectively or impartial?

·         Does it have the words editorial, commentary, book review, opinion piece in the title?

Adapted from: Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test. LOEX Quarterly31(3). Retrieved from  http://commons.emich.edu/

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