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CHIN 260: Women in China

Lateral Reading

Practice becoming a Lateral Reader: verify what you're reading as you are reading it. 

Leave the site and open new tabs to judge the credibility of the original site.

  ♦  search for the site/article on fact-checking sites

  ♦  search for the owner or publisher of the site

  ♦  follow references back to the original sources

  ♦  research what other sites say about the source

The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP test provides basic questions to help you think about the quality of your source.

Is it Current?

When was it published? Are their references current? Is currently important for your topic?

Is it Relevant?

Does the info relate to my topic? What audience is it written for? Is it at an appropriate level for my needs?

Is it Authoritative?

Who is the author/organization? Are they qualified? Is it edited or peer-reviewed

Is it Accurate?

Where does the information come from? Are there references? Are there errors, broken links etc.?

What is its Purpose?

What's the purpose of the information? Advertising? Scholarly work? Opinion? Is there bias? Who is the intended audience?


Adapted from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico California

Is a source Scholarly?

How can you tell if a source is scholarly?

  • Is the author an academic?

    • Does the author have a Ph.D.? Are they employed at a university? If the source doesn't say, use Google.
  • Does this source present the results of research by the authors?

  • Are there lots of footnotes, endnotes, or references?

  • Is it published by an academic or university press? (for books)

    • Often the publisher contains the name of a university [ex: Oxford University Press]; if the publisher is not a university press, use Google to find the press and read about their editorial board/policies.

  • Is it published in a scholarly journal? (for articles)

    • Sometimes these contain the word "journal" in the title; if the title does not include the word "journal," use Google to check out the journal's website & editorial board.

    • If the publisher is a university press, that's a good clue that the publication is peer reviewed and scholarly.

If the answers are yes, the source is probably scholarly -- which means it has gone through a rigorous peer review process.

If you are unsure, ask your professor or a librarian!

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

parts of a scholarly article labeled: Journal Name, Volume/Issue Number, Date, Article title, Author, Author Information, and Article Abstract or Summary