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Use this worksheet to determine is a source is CRAP or not.
To evaluate your sources, you must determine its credibility.
Ask yourself "Is this C.R.A.P.?"
- How current is the information?
- Is the age of the publication likely to impact the conclusions drawn by the author?
- Is currency important for your topic?
- Does this work provide you with high quality information?
- Does this work show signs of bias?
- Is your topic treated as the main subject, or is it peripheral?
- Does the information support or disprove your thesis?
- Is the resource useful to your research need?
- Who is the author of the work, and what are his/her credentials?
- Who published the work – a scholarly press, commercial publisher, or is it self-published?
- If it is an online resource, can you determine who the author is?
- What is the purpose of the resource?
- Is the purpose clearly outlined in an introduction or foreword?
- Is the work’s audience an expert in the field or a lay person?
- Author: Can you determine the author’s affiliation or credentials? Is the author from a university or research organization?
- Publication date: When was this published? Is currency important for your topic?
- Length: How long is the article? 2-3 pages does not provide in-depth coverage and is not likely to be a peer-reviewed, research article.
- Abstract: Is there an abstract? Reading an abstract takes much less time than skimming the whole article – use it to help decide if this article will be useful!
- Peer-review: Is the article from a peer-reviewed (sometimes called “refereed”) journal?
Most Web content is posted without any form of review for accuracy or reliability, so it is up to you to make sure that the online information you find is credible and relevant for your research need. Use the C.R.A.P. criteria as your guideline, and evaluate the following Web sites with critical eyes.
Examples used courtesy of Gettysburg College "How to Evaluate Resources"; modified by SJC Librarian, July 14, 2015
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Subjective vs Objective
Example: "It is clear that even though many people are poor, television is more important than anything else."
Contents: courtesy of Information Literacy ODU
Evaluating Your Sources Guide