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Evaluating Sources

How to evaluate the sources you find for credibility, accuracy, and more.


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. You may also wish to view the CRAAP Test video in the following box.


How recent is the information?

  • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Has it been published in the last x years? (x will vary, depending on your topic.)
  • If you have a historical research topic, was it published around the date of the original event?
  • ** Do the links work?
  • ** Has it been updated recently?


Does the information address your needs?

  • Are references or sources for data or quotations included?
  • Where does the information come from and does it apply to your topic?
  • Is it a primary or secondary source?


What is the source of the information?

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are their credentials and are they provided?
  • What is their reputation or expertise? Are they qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • ** What is the domain ending (e.g., .com, .org, .gov, .edu)?
  • ** Are there any advertisements or other distractions?


Is the information reliable, truthful, and correct?

  • Is it accurate? Is it supported by evidence?
  • Is the information balanced or biased?
  • Is it peer reviewed?
  • Can you verify the information from another reliable source?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Purpose / Point of View

Why does the information exist?

  • What is the purpose of the information?  Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Is it fact or opinion?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is this a first-hand account of an event or research?
  • If controversial, are all sides of the issue fairly represented?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
  • ** Could the site be ironic, like a satire or a spoof?

Modified from Evaluating Information: Applying the CRAAP Test (2010) by Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

CRAAP Test Video

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Guide Owner

This guide is maintained by D'Arcy Hutchings.