MastersinCommunications.com is owned and operated by acgtMedia, LLC, a small independent publishing company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. acgtMedia, LLC was started by Aaron Tooley, Ph.D., who has over ten years of experience creating web-based content across numerous industries. For the last seven years, Aaron has used his background in research to create education related content with the goal of helping students make informed decisions about graduate school.
acgtMedia, LLC strives to create the best content on the Internet and believes in full transparency with regards to its content production and site management. With the increase in questionable content on the Internet and the creation of “fake news” sites, it is more important than ever for students to be able to trust the information they source online. Therefore, we recommend students familiarize themselves with the CRAAP test, which is cited by numerous institutions across the country as a method for evaluating Internet resources.
The CRAAP Test
In order to help determine if an internet resource is reliable and relevant to your needs, try using the CRAAP Test below. This mnemonic device covers the five criteria you should consider when evaluating the credibility of an information source. Before placing trust in any piece of content or data you come across on the web, ask yourself the following questions:
- Currency: Is the information being presented current and up-to-date? When was the article published? Are the sources current and relevant? Is the website updated on a frequent basis? Do their links work? Does it look like the site is reviewed regularly?
- Relevance: For whom is this information written? What is the target audience of this website? Is the information provided relevant to your needs? Does it answer the question you had in mind? Is this information unique? Is it intended for the general public or experts on the subject
- Authority: Who created this content? What are the author’s qualifications? Are they an expert in this subject? Is their contact information provided (e.g. an email address)? Where are their sources coming from? What organization is responsible for this article or website?
- Accuracy: Can you verify that the information presented is correct? Where is the data coming from? Are the original sources provided? Does it appear to be well researched? Does the article contain typos or grammatical errors? Is it well organized and presented in a professional manner?
- Purpose: Why was this article written? Is it intended to inform, entertain, or argue a point? Is it objective or biased? What is the tone being used? Is the article or website affiliated with any particular organizations? Does it feel like you are trying to be convinced of something?
Evaluating MastersinCommunications.com Using the CRAAP Test
On MastersinCommunications.com, we strive to provide students with the most relevant and comprehensive information regarding their graduate education options. All of our program data comes directly from school websites, and all of our content is written and/or reviewed and edited in-house. Here is how the site stacks up to the CRAAP Test:
- Currency: We keep our site up-to-date by publishing content frequently, and auditing schools in our database to ensure we have up-to-date information. We check all school links on at least a quarterly basis to make sure they are active and working.
- Relevance: Our content is for students residing in the United States who are interested in graduate programs and careers in communication. Our comprehensive database of master’s in communication programs is proprietary and was created through our own independent research.
- Authority: The majority of our content is written in-house and all of our content editing and data collection is done in-house. Any freelanced content is written by master’s trained professionals. We start with government data sets and do all of our own research. You can learn more about who we are on our About Us page. You can also use our Contact Us form to reach out if you have any questions about our site or content. We do not publish our email addresses on the site as unfortunately spammers have created bots to scrape this information. For more information on acgtMedia, LLC, click here.
- Accuracy: All program data was obtained directly from school websites. We are a comprehensive directory of accredited master’s in communication programs offered by non-profit universities. We spent months collecting data on graduate programs. If you find a spelling mistake or any outdated information on our site, we want to know.
- Purpose: To help students learn more about graduate programs and careers in communication. We provide comprehensive unbiased resources with the intent to educate students, to save them time, and to help them find programs that meet their needs and expectations.
Top Level Domains: .com, .org, .net, .edu, and .gov
When they were originally created, the top level domains .com, .net, and .org were designed to align with different types of organizations, for example: companies/commercial entities versus non-profit organizations. However, no restrictions were put in place on any of the three types of domain names and therefore anyone can register a .com, a .net or a .org domain name. Therefore, it is possible for non-profit entities to use a .com domain and for for-profit companies to use a .org domain. Unless a .org website specifically says it is a non-profit organization, it may not be a non-profit organization.
Whereas .com, .org, and .net are not restricted, .gov and .edu are restricted. Only government agencies and educational institutions, respectively, may use those top level domains. However, students should still evaluate .gov and .edu websites as pages can become out of date or still be live on the Web even if they were supposed to be taken down. Universities often have large websites with orphaned pages that search engines like Google still have indexed.