Physical Therapy

Use this guide as a starting point for your research in the area of physical therapy as well as topics in general health, physiology and kinesiology.

Evaluate the Quality of All Your Sources - Use Only Credible Information

Evaluating sources using the A.S.P.E.C.T. test

Use the A.S.P.E.C.T. Evaluation criteria below to evaluate the quality of your source.

  • If your source does not satisfy these criteria, you may want to find a different, more credible source
  • Is there an author’s name?
  • Can you locate the author’s credentials?
  • Does the author have expertise in the subject?
  • Has the author written similar works?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsors of the source? Is it well-known or respected?
  • Is the information presented as fact?
  • Does the author provide citations for those facts?
    (References, Bibliography etc.)
  • If citations are included, as they from credible sources?
  • Was this source written to inform, educate, entertain, persuade or sell?
  • Does the source argue a perspective or specific opinion?
  • Is the content aimed at a general audience, or is it written for readers with expertise in the subject?
  • Is the source too basic, too technical, or too advanced for your needs?
  • Does the author recognize other points of view?
  • Is the information presented objective?
  • If the source is biased, does the author acknowledge the bias?
  • Is the source comprehensive or inclusive enough for your needs?
  • Does this source provide information that is relevant to your needs? Is it practical?  Is it research-based?
  • Does the source support what you have found in other sources?
  • When was the source published? Is it updated?
  • Is the date appropriate for your topic?

Try It!

A) Choose one of the following pathologies:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal fusion surgery
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Knee pain, patellofemoral pain
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spina bifida

B) Enter your chosen pathology into a search engine (GoogleBingDuckDuckGoYahoo,…etc.)

C)  Pick 5 of the first 10 websites in the results list and answer the following for each website:
(note: you may wish to use the A.S.P.E.C.T evaluation criteria. to help you provide robust answers to these questions)

  1. Who is the sponsor of the website?
  2. How old is the information?
  3. What are the credentials of the authors (or credentials of the organization if there is no stated author)?
  4. Who is the target audience of the website and how did you draw that conclusion?
  5. What is the purpose of the website and what evidence did you use to determine this?
  6. How accurate is the information on the site and what evidence that led you to this conclusion?
  7. Do you have any concerns for the public accessing this website? (would you want your patients or family to use this site for information)  Why or why not?

Video: Using the C.R.A.P. Test to Evaluate Websites

Source: "Using the C.R.A.P. Test to Evaluate Websites" by Portland State University Library, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

This video explains the C.R.A.P. test and then uses it to evaluate three websites on the topic of performance enhancing drugs in sports.