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Animal Science Research Guide

Introduction to library resources and other information sources for animal science students and faculty

Reading Scientific Literature

Evaluation Criteria (C.R.A.P. Test)

The following criteria can be applied to information that you find in books, magazine and journal articles, and websites.


  • How recent is the information?
  • When was the resource written/created/updated?
  • Is the resource current enough for your topic?


  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is the content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced or biased?
  • Does the author provide references or sources for data or quotations?


  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials (education, affiliation, experience, etc.)?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Popular or scholarly treatment. What is the level of writing and intended audience?
  • What’s the intent of the information (to persuade you, to sell you something, etc.)?
  • For Web resources, what is the domain (.edu, .com, .gov, etc.)?
  • Is the author/creator presenting fact or opinion?

Does your information source pass the C.R.A.P. test?

Based on

Scholarly vs Popular Articles

The following sites have more information regarding the differences between scholarly and popular sources of information: