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LNACC Library Guide:Read before you start! First steps.

This guide will help the students served by the LNACC navigate the library.

What is InfoHawk+

InfoHawk+ is the public interface to search the UI Libraries catalog, including our book and media collection, ebooks and journals titles, plus some of our most used and useful databases. You can find the books we own and the journals we subscribe to, but you can also find articles through some of our database subscriptions. 

What is included in InfoHawk+?

Use the tutorials below for guidance or ask a Librarian to learn more. 

InfoHawk+ Tutorials

Your friendly University of Iowa Librarians created these tutorials to help you learn how to use InfoHawk+ like a pro. If you have any questions, please ask a librarian.

Contact us!

It's your library and we are here to help!

Don't hesitate to get in touch

You can: 

 Chat with us

 Email us @

 Call us @ 319-335-5299

 SMS us @ 319-313-2395

More contact options...

In addition, try looking at our 60 Second Tutorials for to-the-point video tutorials that give you just the info you need.

Research Mindset Tip

light bulb

Once you've discovered sources of information, the critical process of evaluating sources begins. You'll have to start thinking about your own ways of thinking as you encounter new information. Are you interacting with a wide range of perspectives on your topic? How many voices are represented by the sources you have found? Is there anything missing, or have you come across surprising information that requires digging into the search process again? 

Tool - Evaulate Information Online with the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test

The tabs in this box represent some of the ways you can evaluate the information you come across as you do research online. You have to decide which information to read and trust, and these pointers can help. It's called the CRAAP test to help make it easy to remember:

C - Currency
R - Relevance/Coverage
A - Authority
A - Accuracy
P - Purpose

Be sure to think critically about the information provided:

  • What are the claims being made by the author(s)?
  • What evidence is provided to support those claims?
  • How does the information offered on this site relate to what is provided in other sources, both non-print and print? 
  • How could the information be verified? Is the information specific?
  • How is the information related to your research question?
  • Does the information address the complexities and significant factors of the topic?
  • Do you need to consider another point of view?
  • Is there another way to look at this question?
  • Does all of this make sense?


CURRENCY: The timeliness of the source and the information

  • When was the information posted?

  • When was it last revised?

  • Are links functional and up-to-date?

  • Is there evidence of newly added information or links?

  • Is the information still considered accurate? Has more recent research challenged this

  • information? Don’t exclude articles or information because of the publication date;

  • instead think about the currency and relevance of the arguments presented.


RELEVANCE/COVERAGE: The importance and scope of the information

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

  • Is the topic covered with sufficient depth and breadth? Is the information comprehensive enough for your needs? Are the complexities of your topic adequately addressed?

  • Could you find the same or better information in another source?

  • Is the information relevant to current scholarly discussions on the topic? Do scholars refer to this source?


AUTHORITY: The source of the information

  • Is the author/sponsor clearly identified? Is contact information easy to find?

  • What are the author’s credentials? Is the author knowledgeable in his/her field (based on employment, publications, sponsorship by reputable organizations).

  • Has the author published works in traditional formats? (Look up the authors in Google Scholar.)

  • Is the author affiliated with an organization? Does this organization appear to support or sponsor the page? (Google the authors and/or sponsoring organizations.)

  • What does the sponsoring site (e.g., and domain name (e.g. .com .edu .gov .org .net) reveal about the source of the information, if anything? 

ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

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

  • Are the original sources of information listed?

  • What evidence is presented to support claims made?

  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?*

  • Does the language or tone seem objective and unbiased?

  • Is the information free of spelling, grammar, and typographical errors? 

PURPOSE: The reason the web site exists

  • Is the purpose of the page stated? Is the purpose to: inform? teach? entertain? enlighten? sell? persuade? Are possible biases clearly stated?
  • Is advertising content vs. informational content easily distinguishable?
  • Are editorials/opinion pieces clearly labeled? 

What is UBorrow?

When you quickly need items that are currently unavailable from the University of Iowa Libraries or are not owned by the Library, search UBorrow. UBorrow enables you to search for and request books directly from 15 major research libraries, with combined collections of more than 90 million volumes:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Indiana University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Center for Research Libraries

UBorrow is a service of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which is comprised of the universities of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago.