About This Guide
This Guide is a complementary resource to the in-class session.
Key Library website links:
Some recommended videos on basic searching techniques:
Your Library Card
Your WATCard is your Library card. Use it to borrow books from uWaterloo and other University Libraries as well as to remotely access the uWaterloo Library's electronic resources.
Remote Access to Electronic Resources at the uWaterloo Library
To access the Library's electronic resources (Research Databases, E-Journals,
Basic Searching Techniques
- Choose an appropriate resource
- Research Databases
- Specific Journals
- Primary Sources
- Break down your topic
- imagine the title of the ideal book or magazine article
- identify the key concepts
- think of synonyms or alternate words for each of the key concepts
- Use appropriate searching techniques
- boolean operators (and, or, not)
- phrase searching
- truncation/wildcard symbols
- field searching
- setting limits
- refining your search (using subject headings/descriptors and other terminology)
Evaluating Sources - The CRAP Test
The CRAP Test
Evaluate Sources Based on the Following Criteria:
Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View
- How recent is the information?
- How recently has the website been updated?
- Is it current enough for your topic?
- What kind of information is included in the resource?
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
- Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
- Who is the creator or author?
- What are the credentials?
- Who is the publisher or sponsor?
- Are they reputable?
- What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is this fact or opinion?
- Is it biased?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
Adapted from LOEX 2008 wiki