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Evaluating Sources: CRAAP Test

Learn tools you can use to evaluate information.

Video: Evaluating Sources

Watch a short tutorial describing how to evaluate sources using the CRAAP Test.

Western University (2012) Evaluating sources. Available at: https://youtu.be/EyMT08mD7Ds (Accessed: 15 September 2020).

About the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is one of the evaluation methods. It was designed by the Meriam Library California State Universiy, Chico.

CRAAP is an acronym and stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose.

It provides you with a list of questions to help you evaluate the information that you find. You will be more confident in selecting sources to meet the expectations of your assignment.

Not all criteria apply equally at the same time to all resources.

Articles to Consult

Lewis, B. A. (2018) 'What does bad information look like? Using the craap test for evaluating substandard resources', Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. Winter. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5062/F41N7ZC4.

Fielding, J. A. (2019) 'Rethinking CRAAP: Getting students thinking like fact-checkers in evaluating web sources', College & Research Libraries News, 80(11), pp. 620-622. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.80.11.620.

CRAAP - C = Currency

Currency = The timeliness of information:

  • How old is it?
  • When was the information created, published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional? 

CRAAP - R = Relevance

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 (e.g. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Does it seem credible?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

CRAAP - A = Authority

Authority = The source of the information:

  • Who is the creator and/or author and/or publisher and/or source and/or sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? For example:
    • .ac.uk = Academic institutions in the UK
    • .com = Commercial sites
    • .edu = Educational institutions
    • .gov = Government
    • .nhs.uk = Health information services in the UK
    • .org = Non-profit organizations
    • .mil = Military
    • .net = Network.

CRAAP - A = Accuracy

Accuracy = The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content:

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Does it have references?
  • 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 objective and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?
  • Why do you trust it?

CRAAP - P = Purpose

Purpose = The reason the information exists:

  • What is the purpose of the information (e.g. to inform, teach, sell, entertain, persuade etc.)?
  • Do the authors and/or sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion and/or propaganda?
  • Is it objective or biased?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Copyright Statement

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This work in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.