I frequently blog about evaluating sources— it was the subject of my very first post–so it should come as no surprise that I liked “Crap Detection, A 21st Century Literacy” from the Libraries and Transliteracy blog, which I found through the Librarian in Black.
I wanted to point out two great items featured in the post: Howard Rheingold’s “Crap Detection 101,” and the librarian-created CRAP test for evaluating sources based on “Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View”:
- How recent is the information?
- How recently has the website been updated?
- Is it current enough for your topic?
- What kind of information is included in the resource?
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
- Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
- Who is the creator or author?
- What are the credentials?
- Who is the publisher or sponsor?
- Are they reputable?
- What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is this fact or opinion?
- the creator/author trying to sell you something?
- Is it biased?
Though the questions are familiar (I put together a similar list for my research classes), I love the acronym CRAP, as it is descriptive and memorable. I know I’ll be using it, and I hope it helps you keep in mind some of the criteria to consider when evaluating sources.