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SPEA V362 Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Instructor: Bell, Littlepage

Should I Use This Source?

The CRAAP Test

There are various aspects to consider when you are evaluating the usefulness of a source for a particular research problem. Use the following list of questions to help evaluate sources and decide whether to use the resource and/or what qualifications you should include if you use it (e.g., with acknowledgment that the information is not the most current or as an example of bias in the discourse).

 

Currency: How timely is the information?

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic? 

Relevance: How well suited is the source to your needs?

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? 
  • Is the context in which the information was produced similar enough to your context? 
  • Who is the intended audience? 
  • Is the information at an appropriate level? 

Authority: Does the author know anything about your topic?

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? 
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given? 
  • Do the author's credentials or organizational affiliations lend credibility?  
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic? 
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?  

Accuracy: Is the source reliable, correct and truthful?

  • Where does the information/data 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?  
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion? 
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors? 

Purpose: Why was this information produced and disseminated?

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