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  • Research Tips Guide: Evaluate Online Sources

    Evaluate Online Sources

    There is lots of information out there nowadays, but how do we know what is good information versus bad? Let's make sure that those sources you use for your assignments are reliable and credible. There are many sources out there claiming to the real information when, really, they aren't. To make sure they are not "crappy," let's apply the CRAAP test!

    CRAAP Test

    Use the following criteria to evaluating websites and other online resources when completing research. *Note: Some criteria may weigh more than others depending on what information you need.

    C Currency How recent was the information published? 
    Has it been updated or revised recently? 
    Are the links functional?
    R Relevancy Is the content related to your topic? 
    Is it at an appropriate reading level? 
    Who is the audience? 
    Would you be comfortable using this source?
    A Authority Who is the author, publisher, source, and/or sponsor? 
    What are the author’s credentials? 
    Can you contact someone about the source? 
    What does the URL reveal (.gov, .edu, .org, .com, .net, etc.)?
    A Accuracy Any spelling or grammar errors? 
    Is it free of emotion and unbiased? 
    Is there supporting evidence? 
    Can you verify the information from another source or personal knowledge? 
    Has it been reviewed or refereed? 
    P Purpose

    Does it sell, inform, teach, entertain, or persuade? 
    Are the intentions clear? 
    Is it fact, opinion, or propaganda? 
    Are there any political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases? 
    Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

    No one should ever have crappy information in any capacity. Remember this acronym and you will always find good, reliable, and credible stuff! 

    Test Your Understanding

    Evaluate these websites with your newfound knowledge!


    Source: Blakeslee, Sarah (2004) "The CRAAP Test," LOEX Quarterly: Vol. 31 : No. 3 , Article 4. Available at: