Essay 2

When you search for information, you’re going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have
to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help
you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your
situation or need.

Evaluation Criteria

Currency: The timeliness of the information.
 When was the information published or posted?
 Has the information been revised or updated?
 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 .edu .gov .org .net

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?

9/17/10

Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test
Meriam Library California State University, Chico

Key:  indicates criteria is for Web

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