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The CRAAP Test
Questions to ask when evaluating information:
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
- When was the information published or posted?
- Is there a more recent version of this information available?
- Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
- Are the links functional?
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?
- 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/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 .org .gc.ca
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
- Where does the information come from?
- 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 and free of emotion?
- 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 Meriam Library, California State University, Chico
Scholarly vs. Trade vs. Popular
|Clues to look at
||Academics or experts in the field, with credentials and affiliations clearly listed
||Practitioners or educators in the field
||Technical or scholarly, often requires knowledge of discipline and jargon to fully understand
||Has industry jargon, assumes a background in the field
||Easy to read
||Usually black and white, sometimes charts or drawings but little colour or pictures
||Glossy paper, with colourful pictures and industry-related advertisements
||Glossy, colourful, full of pictures and advertisements
|Abstracts (very short summary of the article)
||Bibliographies or footnotes always present, and generally substantial
||Short bibliographies may be present
||Other practitioners in the field
||Long articles, often split into sections like abstract, introduction, methods, discussion