Evaluating Information
Applying the CRAPP Test

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When doing research, you need to determine if the information you are finding is reliable information. In most cases, you will need to make this determination for yourself.  The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate any type of research information.   


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 for a 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 e-mail address?
□ Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

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 biased and free of emotion?
• Are there spelling, grammar, or other 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?

Printed with permission of author Sarah Blakeslee, Meriam Library, California State University


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