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AEBI 120

CRAAP Test

Evaluating your sources is critical if you want to know if the information you found in a book, in an article or on the Web is good information you can use. If you're unsure where to start, the CRAAP Test (see below) is a great tool to point you in the right direction! 

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • If it is a website, are the links functional?

A microbiology textbook from 1950 might not be current because there has been a lot of progress in that field, but an insect identification manual from 1910 might be – depending on the topic.


Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience? (General public? Researchers?)
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified 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? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

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

  • Where does the information come from? Are there references?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

 

Adapted from: Blakeslee, S. (2010). Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test. Retrieved from http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf

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