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Petroleum Engineering Guide

This guide will provide information about petroleum engineering resources that may be of interest to students and faculty. This guide is intended to be a starting point for your research, it is not a comprehensive list of resources and materials. If you have questions at any time during your research process please contact Micah Gjeltema at or 406-496-4523.

Evaluating Sources

Every source needs to be assessed in some way, to determine if it has what you need and is worth your time and effort. 

The CRAAP method is intended for online resources, but applies to any information source imaginable:  books, articles, emails, interviews, whatever you might use. 

Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional? 

Relevance:  The importance of the information for your needs

  • Is the page free from (excessive amounts of ) advertising?
  • Who is the intended audience:  kids, consumers, professionals?
  • Is the page easy to understand and use (or should it be)?

Authority:  The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? 
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Accuracy:  The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content

  • Where does the information come from?  Is there a bibliography or any mention of sources?
  • Is the information support by any evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or referred?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free from emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammatical, or other typographical errors?

Purpose:  The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information?  To inform?  Teach?  Sell?  Entertain?  Persuade? 
  • Do the authors/publishers/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact?  Opinion?  Propaganda?  A mixture?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?