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“Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him."
~Ernest Hemingway, 1954
Why Evaluate web sources?
- Anyone with a little time, some knowledge and small amount of money can publish on the Internet.
- No person, persons or organization reviews the content of the Internet.
- Pages are retrieved by search engines based on the page's content, not the relevancy or quality of the page.
- Much information on the Web is not updated regularly.
It’s up to YOU to sort the accurate bits from the misinfo, disinfo, spam, scams, urban legends, and hoaxes. “Crap detection,” as Hemingway called it half a century ago, is more important than ever before.
The Gingrich Guide has more information on evaluating source material.
The C.R.A.A.P test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria: Currency, Reliability, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose/Point of View. Below are some questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.
- 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 is 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 published or sponsor?
- Are they reputable?
- What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
- Are there citations to the sources of the information?
- Are these sources reputable?
- Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is this fact or opinion?
- Is it biased?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
(from the LOEX Wiki)