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Market Research

Research a service or product, define the target market, then determine the potential size of that market - using specialized data bases, government web sites, and actual reference books.

Before you use "information" for your paper....

Use the CRAP Test to evaluate information on the Internet

Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View

* Currency -

·         How recent is the information?

·         Can you locate a date for when the resource was written/created/updated?

·         Based on your information need, is it current enough?

·         Why might the date matter for the information you need?

* Reliability -

·         What kind of information is included in the resource?

·         Is content of the resource primarily opinion? 

·         Is it balanced or biased?

·         Is there a Bibliography?  Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?

* Authority -

·         Can you determine who is the creator or author?

·         What are the credentials (education, affiliation, expertise?)

·         Is the publisher or sponsor reputable?

·         Are they knowledgeable on this subject?

·         What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?

·         Are there advertisements on the website?

* Purpose/Point of View -

·         What's the intent of the article? (to persuade you, to sell you something?)

·         For web resources, what is the domain? (.com .edu, .gov?) How might this influence the purpose or point of view?

·         For web resources, are there ads on the webpage? How do they relate to the topic of the web resource? (for example an ad for ammunition next to an article on firearm legislation or against gun control)

·         Is the author presenting fact or opinion?   How do you know?


A Note on Website Domains - a quality filter in Advanced Google searching and in evaluating websites

What is the site’s domain? It is the part of the URL after the last "."?   Although the system is far from perfect, the following list gives several kinds of sites, as defined by their domains.   While the type of domain is not a guarantee of reliable information, generally speaking site from .gov or .edu or .org domains are more reliable than those from dot-coms.

.gov — government agencies

.edu — educational institutions

.org — organizations, usually non-profit

.com — commercial businesses, including companies that host personal websites and blogs

.net — organizations related to the Internet itself, such as a local Internet Service Provider


 Adapted from Vanderbilt University Library "What the Crap?": http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/central/crap_files/frame.htm and
Ohio University Libraries: