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Research Guides


Start Your Research

Welcome! This guide will get you started with library-based research in Botany.

To search for books or articles use Library Search on the library website.

The Claremont Colleges Library use the Library of Congress Classification System to organize physical books in the library. Our science section can be found on the first (1st) floor of the Honnold side of the building. Below, you will find a list of subjects and the call number grouping in which they may be found. 

Botany is found in the LIbrary of Congress Subclass QK

  • QK1-989 Botany
  • QK1-474.5 General (Including geographical distribution)
  • QK474.8-495 Spermatophyta. Phanerogams
  • QK494-494.5 Gymnosperms 
  • QK495 Angiosperms 
  • QK504-(638) Cryptogams 
  • QK640-(707) Plant anatomy 
  • QK710-899 Plant physiology 
  • QK900-989 Plant ecology

Evaluating Your Sources

The following information will guide you in determining if a source (journal, article, book, website, etc.) credible and reliable, and thereby, appropriate for your research paper.


Australia, University of South. “Study Help: Evaluating Information.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Oct. 2017,​

​CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Use the CRAAP Test to evaluate your sources.

CURRENCY: 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 can older information work?
  • Are the links functional on the site?

RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information meet your needs?
  • Who is the intended audience?  
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced)?

AUTHORITY: The source of the information

  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor? Knowing who or what funds the source will tell you more about any existing bias. 
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations? Are they a scholar or a celebrity figure?
  • Is the author qualified to write the topic? Do they have a degree or expertise in the area in which they are writing?
  • What does the URL revel about the author or source? (i.e. .com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net)
    • Domains ending in .edu or .gov are considered the most reliable. However, be aware that any domain may contain items with bias.
    • PLEASE NOTE: It is OK to use sources with bias present as long as you address it and make your reader aware of it in your research. 

ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • What does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence? Are there citations or references?
  • Has the information been reviewed?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

PURPOSE: The reason the information exists. 

  • 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?
  • Are there any political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases? 

*Adapted from "Evaluating Information - Applying the CRAAP Test" by Meriam Library, CSU


  • Facticious
    Digitally interactive quiz created in 2017 by veteran journalist, Maggie Farley. Factitious provides content that can be evaluated then swiped as correct or incorrect. Users are notified in real-time whether they evaluated correctly. Content provided for the evaluation process includes, cited sources that can be checked, publication names, direct quotes, images and more. This is a great resource for testing your skills in identifying credible and reliable content. 


Use these sites to fact-check information that you find online.


TED-Ed. “How to Spot a Misleading Graph - Lea Gaslowitz.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 July 2017,

Related Research Guides

Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden

Before you visit, please call (909) 625-9767 or email at for more information. 

STEM Librarian

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Kimberly Jackson

Claremont Colleges Library
(909) 607-7168