Sources are useless unless they help answer your research question and contain accurate information - they must be RELEVANT and CREDIBLE.
Use the CRAAP Test to see if your sources make the grade. Use the worksheet below the chart for a thorough analysis.
Key: * indicates criteria is for Web sources only
C - Currency: Timeliness
- When was the information 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- Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?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? *
R - Relevance: Meets Your Needs
- Does the information relate to your topic or answer your research 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 using this source for a research paper?
A - Authority: Source of Information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/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? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net *
A - Accuracy: Reliability, Truthfulness
- 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?
P - Purpose: Why it Exists
- What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Use the worksheet below to do a thorough analysis.
CRAAP Acronym and information from Meriam Library, CSU-Chico