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Athletic Training: Choosing/Citing Sources

Resources for faculty,staff, and students in this field

Jennifer DeBerg

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Jennifer DeBerg

The CRAAP Test

When using the internet, consider these 5 points to help judge the quality of information.

Currency/Date: the timeliness of the information

Relevancy/Coverage: the importance and scope of the information

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information

Authority: the source of the information

Purpose: the reason the information exists

For more, see the CRAAP Test

Evaluating Sources Video

Types of Sources

Primary sources are those that are a direct report by the author who was involved in the research or experience and is reporting the results shortly after completion. Emphasis should be on relaying facts with minimal analysis. Primary source designation does not necessarily indicate a high level of quality. However, all original research falls into this classification, and original research may be required for many assignments. Examples: clinical trials, case reports, research reports.

Secondary sources aim to review or summarize several to many primary resources. Some of these, such as well constructed systematic reviews, have tremendous value. There is more focus on interpretation. Examples include: reviews, guidelines, and books.

Information on the Internet

It is easy to locate much more information using free web resources than necessary, and quality is variable. It is a good habit to use web resources to get a sense of a topic, but they need to be carefully evaluated before referencing.

Using advanced features in search engines is one strategy to improve the quality of results retrieved. For example, try date limit, restrict to domain type, such as .gov or .edu, or limit where your words appear on the page.  View seach help in Google or other search engines to get more ideas.