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How To Evaluate Research Resources: The CRAP Test
"Every man [and woman] should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him." -- Ernest Hemingway
Use the CRAP test to evaluate potential research resources:
- 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 published 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?
- Is it biased?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
Citing Your Sources: Citation Styles
Writing guide from Purdue University provides comprehensive information -- from general writing tips to detailed citation style guides.
Link to UWM Library Guide: Citation Styles
Quick reference on how to properly use in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes and format bibliographies. A variety of citation styles is included: MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, AMA/CSE, etc.
ZoteroBib is a free service that helps you build a bibliography instantly from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software.
FAQs and other information for using ZoteroBib.
Explore Other Citation Management Systems
Includes information on how to select a citation management tool .
One method of identifying relevant sources on a topic is to review the bibliography of a respected source. It's essential to know how to "read" the citations for the items listed to determine if they're referencing a book, a journal article, a chapter in a book, etc. This handout will help.
Periodical Publication Categories
Ulrichsweb(Ulrich's Periodical Directory)is the authoritative source of detailed information on periodicals of all types -- academic and scholarly journals, Open Access publications, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more from around the world.
Are Books Considered Scholarly Resources?
Are Books Considered Scholarly Publications?
It depends. Just as periodicals can be categorized as academic, scholarly, peer reviewed or popular, books and other "grey literature" research resources are also published with different audiences and purposes. This handout will help you determine if a book or another type of research resource is academic/scholarly in nature.