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C.R.A.P. or C. A. R. P. ?
You can choose the mnemonic abbreviation that you like, but this will give you a quick method to use for evaluation.
- Is there an update date listed at the top or bottom of the page? Is there a copyright date at the bottom?
- Are links broken (404 error)?
- Is it current enough for your topic?
IF CURRENCY IS NOT AN ISSUE, for example, if you are doing historical research, you may want to remember...
- What is the criteria for my research assignment?
- Do I need a certain type of article? Did the instructor specify empirical research, or can I use a case study?
- Do I need to research on a particular population? Do I need information about specific age groups, gender, etc.?
- Does it relate to your topic? Does
*some will put "Reliability", but you can usually figure if sometime is reliable with the questions about authority.
- Is the author's name listed? If so, what makes the author an expert (credentials, known and respected)?
- Is there a reputable organization behind it? What is the organization's interest (if any) in this information?
- What is the domain (.edu, .com, .org, .net, .uk, .k12, etc)? Is the page hosted by an individual?
- Does the creator provide reference citations or link to sources for data or quotations?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is the site fair and objective? Is it an advocacy site? Is the page affiliated with an organization that has a particular political or social agenda?
- Is there a conflict of interest? Does the web site producer stand to benefit from the information being provided?
- How important is balance? Is your purpose to show bias? Is any bias explicit or hidden? Can you use the information?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
C. R. A. P. Test Advice from Portland State