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USNA 288M - Spirits & Synapses

Created for course taught by Profs. Michael Decker and Steven Pinkerton in Fall 2016

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Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
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Research Databases FTW!

Using the CRAAP Test to evaluate your information sources is always a good idea. However, there is a much greater need to apply the CRAAP Test when searching for sources on the open web vs. when you are searching within a research database. This is because research databases are curated collections of sources, representing the work and thought that the curators put into the construction of these databases. Therefore, at least upon initial searches, a reputable research database can act as a proxy for the validation of its sources' authority, accuracy, and (informative) purpose.

When searching in a research database...



You will still need to determine if a source is "current" enough (with respect to your needs)



You will still need to determine if a source is relevant to your research, but controlled vocabulary is a big help


A source will be much more likely to have a credible author/publisher, and this information will be easier to find


A source is much more likely to contain reliable and true information, thanks to peer review and/or greater accountability


A source is virtually guaranteed to be informative (rather than, say, persuasive), due to inclusion criteria

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