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Health Sciences: Using Web Sites

Research guide for all TR health science programs

Evaluate the site

Evaluating Internet Resources

Unlike information found in library databases, information on the Internet is not filtered for quality. You must evaluate the information you find. Always remember that anyone can publish information online! College level research requires quality information sources that meet the “CRAP” criteria:

Currency

  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?

Reliability

  • Can you verify the information included in the resource?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for the data?

Authority

  • Who is the creator or author?  What are their credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
  • Does the sponsor/publisher have a good academic reputation?
  • What is the sponsor’s interest (if any) in this information?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Is the source factual or opinion based?
  • Is the information biased?
  • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

 

Be skeptical!
The best research efforts require critical evaluation of resources!

 

Source: CRAP test originally developed by Molly Beestrum, Dominican University, and adapted in 2008 by LOEX Wiki http://loex2008collaborate.pbworks.com/w/page/18686701/The%20CRAP%20Test