University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Research Help

Website, Blogs & Other Internet Sources

Articles from websites, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, or blog posts can all be good sources if carefully evaluated.

USE THE CRAAP Test

We recommend you use this criteria to decide if a source you have found online should be used in your academic research:

CURRENCY

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information up to date or have there been any major changes affecting the topic since the content was published?
  • Are there broken links? This may indicate a site that is no longer maintained.

RELEVANCE

  • Does the publication answer your questions or provide information relevant to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience — general readers? Experts? Professionals in a particular field?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level?
  • Have you looked at multiple sources?

AUTHORITY

  • Is there an author or authors listed? Be wary of content published with no author credits.
  • What are the author’s qualifications — do they have advance degrees in the field or are they sponsored by an institution?

ACCURACY

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is it supported by evidence?
  • Does the author provide a reference list or links to original research or primary source documents?
  • Do they name their sources?
  • Can you verify the information using other sources?

PURPOSE

  • Why was this information published or posted?
  • Is the purpose of the publication educational, commercial or political?
  • Look out for sensationalist or alarmist titles or claims.
  • Does the author present multiple sides of an issue in a neutral tone, or is there a particular viewpoint?
  • If published by an organization, is it non-profit or for-profit? Are they selling something? Do they have a particular agenda such as a think-tank or Political Action Committee (PAC)?

For more in depth information, learn how to determine journal quality or use our Evaluate an Online Journal Checklist(PDF).

Questions & Help

If you have questions about a source, librarians are here to help!

Contact us:

  • IN PERSON: Research and Teaching Librarians are usually available weekdays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • ASK A LIBRARIAN: Submit your question and a librarian will get back to you within 24 hours
  • PHONE: Call us at 207-602-3000 most weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • CHAT: Use our pop-up chat service to ask a question