The C.R.A.P. Test in action: Websites

The C.R.A.P. Test in action: Websites

This video will demonstrate the crap test
in action. The examples here are from real life. Students were assigned to find and evaluate
websites that would be appropriate for college-level academic research. We’re going to take a
close look at what was turned in on the topic of performance enhancing drugs in sports. What is this? They offer
services, they have a resource center. OK, resources sound good for doing research, let’s
that out. But they only provide teaser info, and if you want to get in-depth info you have
to subscribe to the service. Well, we’re not going to pay for a membership in order
to do this assignment. It seems like the purpose (letter P in CRAP) of the info here is to
get you to become a member. If we click on About Us, we can see that this organization
is really more about providing services for pay than about providing academic info. sports illustrated timeline Sports Illustrated
is a really well known and widely read popular magazine. This timeline has a bunch of useful
facts and illustrates that doping is not just a problem of the present day. No doubt they
have a team of editors and fact-checkers to make sure that they don’t publish any incorrect
information, but scrolling along here, I have to say that for an academic paper it would
be better if they had provided references for these facts (letter R for Reliability).
When I get to the bottom, I don’t see a reference list, and I also notice that the
timeline stops in 2008. And right under the headline it says that that was the year of
the last update. Currency (C in CRAP) isn’t so important for the historical info here,
but a lot has happened since 2008 that is probably important to include for an academic
paper. mayo clinic Now we’re really getting somewhere.
The Mayo clinic is a known and trusted name for health information. But just in case you’ve
never heard of them before, you can click on “about this site” to learn that this
is a trustworthy collection of articles written by medical professionals. It’s also interesting
to see that they post their ad policy here, since the ads do detract a bit from an appearance
of objectivity – but at least they are transparent about them. Scanning through, there is a whole
lot of detailed information here along with risks and side effects for each type of drug.
There is also a list of references that tells you where the info came from; you could look
these up if you wanted more info on a topic. Since this site is both reliable and authoritative,
I’m giving it a thumbs-up. nlm. Here’s one more bonus site. Check out
the url – it’s a .gov, part of the national library of medicine and the National Institutes
of Health. There isn’t a whole lot of detailed opinion here per se, this is just a brief
overview. So you wouldn’t want to cite this as a great source of information in your academic
paper. However, this is a really reliable source for referrals to other info. So if
you needed more information this would be a great place to get articles and other resources.
There are also ideas about other organizations to check out – like did you know that there
is a national institute on drug abuse and an office of national drug control policy?
Both of these agencies probably publish data and other information that could be useful. I hope this example helped you see how to
apply the CRAP test to evaluate sources for your research.

26 Replies to “The C.R.A.P. Test in action: Websites”

  1. Had to watch this for school. This just wasted 5 minutes of my life that I will never get back

  2. Thank you very much for the helpful examples. I hadn't considered looking into government organization webpages for statistics, so that piece of advice will come in handy.

  3. It's pronounced May-o, not My-o. It is a world-renowned medical clinic and the name is also well known. How do you get it wrong?

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