The internet offers access to information available on millions of websites. Unfortunately, not all information on the internet has been vetted for accuracy. Many faculty at MU do not allow students to use internet sites for research, including Wikipedia. However, there are many government and organization sites that offer excellent data, as well as Google Scholar. The key is to review the materials for accuracy. One way to evaluate sources is to use the CRAAP test described below and watch the videos. Another good option is to check data to see if it can be corroborated in other places. Finally, when citing specific data, it is best to go to the original source of the data rather than a secondary interpretation.
The CRAAP Test* is a useful guide to evaluating resources. CRAAP is an acronym for the general categories of criteria that can be used to evaluate information you find. The criteria can help you evaluating various types of resources, such as articles, books, and websites. Although your research may uncover a large number of resources, not all materials may be relevant to your research questions or topic. Use the CRAAP Test to decide if information is appropriate for your research!
Note: the CRAAP test was developed by librarians at CSU Chico.