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Researching Business People

Tips for Google Searching

Explore the Library's Google Research for Students guide to learn tips for Google searching.

When searching for information online, it's important to evaluate the information to determine whether it's from a reliable source and suitable for your research papers. Here are some reasons you should always think about a website before trusting the information it shares:

  • The quality of information varies tremendously
  • Anyone can make and publish a website
  • Websites may not employ editors or fact checkers
  • You need reliable resources for your assignments

Evaluating Information using the CRAAP Criteria

One way to evaluate information is by using the CRAAP test. This is a set of evaluation criteria that can be applied to websites, articles, and other information sources to help you determine if the information is reliable. The acronym stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.


Is the information up-to-date, and when was it published?

Look for a published date, as well as the dates of any materials referred to. How current the information should be may vary, depending on the topic and assignment requirements.


Does the information relate to your research topic, and is the information in-depth enough for academic use?

Look for information that relates to the topic, and is written at the right level.


What is the source of the information? Is the author qualified to write about this topic? 

For example, look for professional designations or academic affiliations to learn about an author's qualifications, and look for information about the website, publisher, etc. to learn more about the source.


Is the information supported by evidence, and has the author provided citations or links to research they quote?

This can help indicate that the article is accurate.


Is the information presented objectively, or could the author be trying to sell, entertain, or persuade readers?

Consider if there are any potential biases that have an impact on how the information is presented, or which information is presented.

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