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What Are Information Skills?

What are information skills?

Developing your information skills is an important part of studying and will help you at University, as well as being valuable to future employers.

Information skills include findingevaluating and managing the latest and most appropriate information for your assignments.

Understanding Quality and Evaluation

As you are doing your research, make sure you evaluate the quality and usefulness of the sources you consult.  To do this, have a think about some key quality criteria that will help you work out if the source is a good one to use, also known as the CRAP criteria:


  • Is the source up to date?  Does it need to be for your needs?
  • When was it published - can you easily find this information?


  • Has your source been officially published? 
  • Has it been reviewed (by a publisher or peer-reviewed for articles)?
  • Is the content backed up with references to other sources that support it?


  • Who wrote it?  What is their background and qualifications? 
  • Do you trust that they are qualified to write about the topic?


  • Why was this source written? 
  • Do you trust the purpose behind it? 
  • Does the author want to share research or contribute to the understanding of a topic, for example? 
  • Is it trying to sell you a point of view or product (and if so, you will need to be aware of this if you do use it in your research)?

 Watch the CRAP Test Song - it will help you remember these points: 

Video Simple Searching

  Getting too many or too few results?  Watch Simple Searching to find out how you can improve:



Search Statement Generator

Academic and Professional Skills: succeed@solent

Succeed@Solent is a resource designed to help you make the most of your time at university by helping you to understand what it means to be a student, and how to achieve the best that you can.  

It offers a range of online materials to help you improve your learning and academic skills including:

There are also sections on professional skills such as group workgiving presentations and grammar and language skills.

Don't forget to check out the Library's online and printed learning skills books (find the printed versions on Floor 1A).