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BC3 Library: Evaluating

Evaluate Your Sources with the CRAAP Test

There is a lot of information out there, but how do you determine what is good information? Use the CRAAP Test! This tool considers 5 important criteria and can be applied to any print or electronic source. 

"Media Bias Handout" 2019 by Ame Maloney under "Creative Commons Atribution-NonCommercial 4.0"    userlicense

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published, posted, revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional and current?

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? Are references and citations provided?
  • 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?

Adapted from the CRAAP Test created by Meriam Library at California State University, Chico

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Evaluating Sources Checklist

Use this tool to help determine the quality of a journal article, book, website or any other source you are considering for your research.

Evaluating Sources Video

True or CRAAP? Video

How To Spot Fake News

Reference & Instruction Librarian

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Jean Shumway
Contact:
724-287-8711 ext. 8296