Evaluate Sources

The CRAAP Test

There is a lot of information out there, but not all of it is credible or trustworthy. You can use the CRAAP Test to evaluate any source of information you find (adapted from the Meriam Library at California State University Chico).

Currency

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • When was the information last revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Authority

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • 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

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence (either in that source or citied from another)?
  • Has the information been reviewed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose

  • 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?