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ENE 50300 - Engineering Education Inquiry: Database Search Tips

A guide for the information presented to the ENE 503 Inquiry class.

Creating an Effective Search Strategy

Developing a Database Search Strategy

CRAAP tester

USING THE CRAAP TEST

Evaluation Criteria

Currency: The timeliness of the web page.

When was the information gathered?

 When was it posted?

When was it last revised?

Are links functional and up-to-date?

Is there evidence of newly added information or links?

Relevance/Coverage: The uniqueness of the content and its importance for your needs.

What is the depth and breadth of the information presented?

Is the information unique? Is it available elsewhere, in print or electronic format?

Could you find the same or better information in another source? For example, a general encyclopedia?

Who is the intended audience? Is this easily determined?

Does the site provide the information you need?

Your overall assessment is important. Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: The source of the web page.

Who is the author/creator/sponsor?

Are the author’s credentials listed?

Is the author a teacher or student of the topic?

Does the author have a reputation?

Is there contact information, such as an e-mail address?

Has the author published works in traditional formats?

Is the author affiliated with an organization?

Does this organization appear to support or sponsor the page?

What does the domain name/URL reveal about the source of the information, if anything?

example: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

Where does the information come from?

Are the original sources of information listed?

Can you verify any of the information in independent sources or from your own knowledge?

Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Does the language or tone seem biased?

Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographica errors?

Purpose/Objectivity: The presence of bias or prejudice/The reason the web site exists.

Are possible biases clearly stated?

Is advertising content vs. informational content easily distinguishable?

Are editorials clearly labeled?

Is the purpose of the page stated?

Is the purpose to inform? teach? entertain? enlighten? sell? persuade?

What does the domain name/URL reveal about the source of the information, if anything?

example: .com .edu .gov .org .net Chico

Database Search Help

Different databases may utilize distinct search functionalities and features. To maximize the effectiveness of your searches it is helpful to spend some time exploring the "Help" or "Support" information provided. For example, here is a screenshot of the help information available in Engineering Village.  Notice there is a great deal of information pertaining to the database's "Search" functionalities.