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Business Research Basics

Introduction to conducting business research at UNT Libraries

Take the C.R.A.P. Test

When evaluating resources, consider if its news or scholarship and take the C.R.A.P. Test -- Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Point of View.


  • Modern, historical, timeless
  • New event, historical precedence
  • Do they even provide a date?


  • Just someone's OPINION
  • Bias, agenda, perspective
  • Transparency
  • Author provide citations for quotes or data?


  • Who wrote/created it?
  • Credentials, i.e. author's education, experience, affiliation? 
  • Who is the publisher, university, think tank...?
  • Does their experience match their topic?


  • Article's intent, i.e., to sell or persuade.
  • What is the web domain, i.e. .gov, .com. .org., .edu.
  • Are there ads present?
  • Is the author presenting fact or opinion?

Key Business Magazines & Trade Publications

Following are a few, but not all, authoritative business magazines:

  • Adweek
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Consumer Reports
  • The Economist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fast Company
  • Forbes
  • Fortune
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Inc.
  • Money

News vs. Scholarly Articles: Understanding the Difference

Evaluating different types of resources:

  • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Article: written, read and sometimes evaluated by experts in their field. The purpose of a 
  • scholarly article is to inform and report on research in a specific discipline.
  • Trade Publication: provide information for individuals in a specific industry or field
  • Substantive News: provide information to inform or educate the general public on a particular issue or topic. 
  • Popular News: reflect on popular culture of the time and often bring an entertainment value
  • Sensational Newsintends to incite emotions, interest or reactions. Sensational news is typically inaccurate.

Content adapted from Olin Library at Cornell University and CSU, Chico 

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