Skip to main content


Statistics Searching Resources: Learning Activity for FYSS

Selected statistical sources

1. Pair off with your neighbor and share with each other ideas for a Freakonomics style question or topic to research for the class project. For each topic come up with some questions to ask and keywords to search.

2. Use Opposing Viewpionts, a subscription database available from Lane Library (link below) to find an article about your topic. Draw on the keywords you generated.  Why did you choose this article? Email yourself the article.

Also explore the Pew Research Center, an open access website of authoritative research on public policy issues. 

3. Use Google Scholar ( to identify some scholarly, peer reviewed articles on the topic (use the same keywords, but this resources will filter for scholar sources.)
Be prepared to share briefly with the group the information resources you found and list some ways the newspaper article, information from Opposing Viewpoints and Pew differ from the peer reviewed articles from scholarly journals. 

From the Pew Research Center

Ratings of religious groups vary more widely among older than younger Americans

Set Up Instructions for Individuals at Armstrong

Get started using these steps:

Navigate to the registration page for Armstrong's subscription (

Create your account using your Armstrong email address  (;

Once you have registered, you will be able to access from any location.  Just Log In using the option in the upper right corner of the page.

Visit to download your free NYTimes apps.

From the New York Times

CRAAP Test: a criteria for evaluation of information resources

Currency: (The timeliness of the information)

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: (The importance of the information for your needs)

  •  Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  •  Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority:  (The source of the information)

  •  Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Does the author have a reputation?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? (Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)

Accuracy:  (The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content)

  • Where does the information come from?
  •  Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: (The reason the information exists)

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Created by Merriam Library, California State University, Chico