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- Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?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?