Contains an online library of current event topics; includes viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to web sites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles. Provided by Gale.
Provides information on a wide array of subjects; includes updated reference content with full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.
Provides topical articles, about 15 - 20 pages long, on social issues; articles include an overview, background information, the current situation concerning the issue, an outlook on possible developments, a special focus, chronology of related events, and pro and con section, and an annotated bibliography. Provided by CQ Press.
Credo contains an excellent collection of topic overviews that can be very helpful in the early stages of a research project. It's also a top-notch reference collection for fact-checking. Contains dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, quotations and atlases, plus a wide range of subject-specific titles covering everything from accounting to zoology. Watch our Credo video!
An online "works cited" and "reference list" tool for both MLA and APA citation styles. This tool walks students through the process of documenting elements of a citation and allows students to generate MLA and APA bibliographies. Students can create folders and store citations for multiple projects. Provided by NoodleTools. PDF GuideWatch our Noodletools tips on YouTube
Reference librarians are available at each campus library to help you take advantage of the broad array of print and electronic resources available to you through the CCAC Libraries. For example, a librarian can help you:
Select and focus a research topic.
Devise an effective research strategy.
Locate relevant books, articles, and other information sources.
Evaluate the quality of resources.
Use research tools such as the library catalog and our many periodical databases.
Obtain materials not available on-campus.
Cite and document resources using a style guide like MLA or APA.
Chat with Us!
Chat with one of our librarians to get library and research help. Our chat service is typically available during regular business hours.
Make an Appointment
Schedule an online appointment with a librarian for a personalized research session. Select a date & time that works for you and we will schedule your Zoom session!
Prefer to contact us via text message? Text your library questions to (412) 312-3206 to get help from the library.
Questions will be answered within 24 hours, Monday - Friday.
Criteria for Evaluating
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to evaluate the quality of any information before using it it a paper, presentation, or some other project.
As a starting point, consider evaluating the authority, objectivity, and currency of sources. Look at the items below for more details and example questions that you can ask when evaluating sources such as books, articles, and websites.
What should you ask yourself when trying to determine the level of expertise of the person who created the information?
Who created the information?
What kind of education or experience does the author have?
Is contact information available to verify the author's credentials?
Is the author part of a university or some other reputable organization?
Was the information published by a reputable source?
Does the author quote and cite reliable sources?
Is the information posted on a reliable site like a scholarly journal or someplace less reliable like Facebook?
What should you ask yourself when trying to determine the accuracy of information?
Does the information that's presented seem accurate?
Can you verify anything presented as a fact in another trustworthy source?
Was the information reviewed by an editor or peer-reviewed prior before being published?
Are references or citations to authoritative sources provided to support the information?
What should you ask when trying to determine the objectivity of a piece of information?
You can describe a source as being objective if it fairly represents various sides of an argument or issue. A source that promotes or favors one side of an argument can be described as biased or an opinionated work.
What’s the purpose of this information?
Is the author trying to sell a product or service?
Is the author trying to persuade you on a controversial topic?
Is the author trying to explain various sides of an issue?
Is the author sharing the results of research on the topic?
What should you ask yourself when evaluating a piece of information for currency?
When was the information published?
How old is the content of the source?
Does my topic need current information to be accurate or will older information be OK?
Does my assignment require sources that were published within a certain timeframe?