When choosing a resource, it is important to determine the credibility and reliability of that resource. To do that, we recommend the CRAP test:
Currency - What is the publication date? and how does this date impact your topic of research? The subject of your research will impact the need for currency in publication.
Relevancy/Reliability - Does this resource actually deal with your topic? Be careful that you aren't choosing a resource just because it has your keyword somewhere in the title or contents. Make sure the work has a substantial portion that directly addresses your subject area.
Authority/Accuracy - Who is the author of the resource? Do they have substantial academic or professional experience and credentials that give them the authority to speak on this topic?
Purpose/Point-of-view - Why was this resource written? To inform or persuade? Be aware of any bias that the author may have toward your subject that could taint the authority and reliability of the information provided in their work.
For example, let's perform the CRAP test on one of the resources listed below:
Foster, John, Stephani. Writing Skills for Public Relations: Style and Technique for Mainstream and Social Media. Kogan Page, 2012
Currency: This book was published in 2012, so it is only a few years old. It is important that we have a resource printed in the past 5 or 10 years since we want to find out about current writing techniques for public relations.
Relevancy/Reliability: The main subject headings for this book are Public relations--Handbooks, manuals, etc and Business writing--Handbooks, manuals, etc, both of which deal directly with our research topic.
Authority/Accuracy: The book provides an excellent representation to the authority of our author, where we find that John Foster was awarded the rank of Fellow within the Charted Institute of Public Relations for his outstanding contributions to the field of public relations. Foster has had an extensive career in writing for public relations and this is the fifth edition of his helpful manual.
Writing Skills for Public Relations was published by Kogan Page and was edited by Dr. Anne Gregory, Director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. Kogan Page is an independent publisher specializing in business resources.
Purpose/Point-of-view: John Foster writes from experience in the public relations field to educate and inform others. His book is part of a larger series through Kogan Page Publishing that was created to being together the experience of those currently in the field with those newcomers wishing to make an impact in the world of public relations.
This resource has passed the CRAP test and can be confidently used as a credible and reliable resource for our research!
If you want to find other Print Books and eBooks like the titles listed here, try these search strategies:
Go to the library's online catalog
Perform a basic Keyword search for "public relations"
Perform a Subject search for the terms