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Evaluating Information: Relevance

Questions to ask about RELEVANCE:

   How well does the information address your needs?
   How does the information relate to your topic?
Is the information similar in nature to other resources are
   Is this an acceptable format for your needs?

Library OneSearch:
You can help determine how relevant something might be to your research by looking for clues in the search results. Make sure you know what type of information resource you are looking at, and take note of any key themes or subjects that are covered.  Remember that you can use tools within Library OneSearch to limit your search results by type!

Library OneSearch results with item type, abstract, and subject terms highlighted.

When looking for information resources within a specific database, you'll want to make sure you look for relevant content types.  Read the abstract or summary of each resource if one is available. Keep in mind that most databases allow you to sort or limit your search results based on content type!

Database search results with item type and abstracts highlighted

If an abstract is available, it is the best way to determine whether an information resource will be relevant to your research.  With your search terms in mind, keep an eye out for important keywords within the text. 

Article page with search terms, keywords within abstract, and keyword box highlighted


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