Finding information isn't hard. Finding good information is a different story. How can you tell the good from the bad? Evaluate using the CRAAP Method.
The timeliness of the information.
When was the information published or posted?
Has the information been revised or updated?
Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work well?
If on the internet, are the links functional?
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 citing this source in your research paper?
The source of the information.
Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
Is there contact information, such as publisher or email address?
If on the internet, does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? (consider .com, .edu, .gov, .org, or something else)
The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.
Where does the information come from?
Is the information supported by evidence?
Has the information been peer-reviewed or edited?
Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?
The reason the information exists.
What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Peer-Review (Refereed): The process an article may go through prior to being published. Peer-review involves multiple experts in a particular field reading an article, making comments and suggestions, and sending back to the author for revision. Not all articles are peer-reviewed.
Scholarly: An article whose intended audience is experts in their field and is written by experts. While most scholarly publications are peer-reviewed, they are not always. However, if an article is peer-reviewed, it is typically scholarly.
Popular: Articles that are published without going through the peer-review process. They are typically written for the general public. Examples of resources that offer popular articles include The New York Times, Time, and People. Popular articles may be edited, but this is not the same as peer-review.