Skip to main content

BIOL 2420 Microbiology SE: Starting Your Search

Information for the presentation project for BIOL 2420, Microbiology for Non-Science Majors


This guide will help you search for information about pathogenic microorganisms for your BIOL 2420 assignment. If you need help using the guide or have any questions, contact the library via chat, phone, or e-mail. When in doubt, Ask a Librarian!

Evaluate Potential Resources with the CAARP Test

The most important step of medical research is evaluating your potential resources for quality. The CAARP test will guide you in evaluating the books, journal articles, and websites you come across in your research.


Run all of your potential sources through the CAARP test. 

Currency: More recent information is informed by the full range of research on your topic. If two resources are similar, choose the newer one. A good rule of thumb is to try to find medical information less than 5 years old.

Authority: If the author is not an expert (advanced degree and/or works in that field), the source is less credible.

Accuracy: Is someone other than the author evaluating the information before publication? When your professors ask you to find a peer-reviewed resource, they want you to use an article from an academic journal. These articles are written by experts and evaluated by other experts before they are published. 

Relevance: You want the sources that are the best fit for your topic and are written at the right level for what you need. 

Purpose: Be careful about biased sources. You are looking for sources that inform rather than persuade or sell. 

Make sure you download the handout linked above so you can apply the CAARP test while you are researching. Your job as a researcher is to find the best sources you can. If you are having trouble, please Ask a Librarian!


Need Help?