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Science

A research guide for science students at Mitchell Community College.

Science Websites

Science Website Best Bets

You can't trust everything you read online, but (if your instructor allows online sources) these librarian-approved websites are great places to start when you're looking for reliable scientific resources. 

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

The CRAAP Test

Wondering whether that article you found is "good enough" to use for your assignment? Use the CRAAP Test to check the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of the article before trusting it for scholarly research.

  • Currency - the timeliness of information.
    • When was the information created or published?
    • When, if ever, was the information revised or updated?
    • How current does your information need to be?  Did your instructor provide you with specific guidelines for currency?  Is the topic or field you are studying (science, for example) one that changes rapidly and requires the use of the most recent information available?
  • Relevance - how well the information meets your specific needs.
    • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • Is the information at an appropriate level (not too advanced or elementary in nature for your needs)?
    • Do you feel, overall, that this source is appropriate for use in college-level work?
    • Have you compared information from other sources in order to find the most appropriate and useful one(s) for your research?
  • Authority - the source of the information.
    • Who is the author/creator/publisher/sponsor of the work?
    • What are the author's credentials?  If the source was sponsored or produced by an organization, what are the affiliations of that organization?
    • Is the author qualified to speak on this subject?
    • Is contact information for the author and/or publisher of the work available?
    • Does the URL tell you anything about the author or the source?  For example:
      • .com indicates a commercially available website (anyone could purchase/own these domains).
      • .gov indicates a government website.
      • .edu indicates an educational institution.
      • .org indicates an organization of some kind, such as a non-profit or trade organization.
      • .net indicates a network website, usually used by Internet providers, web-hosting companies, or similar businesses.
  • Accuracy - the reliability, correctness, and truthfulness of the information
    • Is the information provided supported by evidence/facts?
    • Has the information been reviewed or edited?  Who was it reviewed/edited by?
    • Can you verify the information provided by comparing it to other trusted sources, or based on your own personal knowledge?
    • Does the source seem biased toward one particular viewpoint?  Does it use emotional, inflammatory language?
    • Are there any spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?  This may be a red flag that the information was professionally edited or reviewed.
  • Purpose- why the information exists.
    • Does the source seeks to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?  The best sources for scholarly research should aim to inform/teach readers rather than sell, entertain, or change their point of view.
    • Does the author/sponsor make his/her intentions clear?
    • Does the information include facts, opinions, propaganda, or a combination?  Look for sources that stick the the facts.

Don't see what you're looking for?  Use the Need Help box on the left to contact your librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email library@mitchellcc.edu.

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Disclaimer of Liability and Endorsement: Mitchell Community College LibGuides contain hyperlinks to third party websites. Mitchell Community College is not responsible for and does not routinely screen, approve, review or endorse the contents of or use of any of the products or services that may be offered at these websites. In no event will Mitchell Community College be liable for any damages or losses whatsoever resulting from or caused by accessing third party websites via LibGuides. While LibGuides are updated periodically, no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, or up-to-date. Users of Mitchell Community College LibGuides do so at their own risk.