Once you have found a range of information resources you need to be able to evaluate and select the best information for your needs. You must be particularly wary of information found on the internet; ensure that you only use information from a reputable source.
The CRAAP Test was developed by the Meriam Library at California State University to help you evaluate the information you find.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Currency: The timeliness of the information
- When was the information published or posted?
- Is the source current or out-of-date for the subject or topic?
- Has the source been revised, updated, or expanded in a subsequent edition?
- (If you are using the web:) Are the links to other sources functional?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
- Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
- How does the source work with other resources you are using?
- Is the information at an appropriate level? (ie not too elementary or advanced for your needs)
- Is the content appropriate for your research topic or assignment?
- Who is the author/ publisher/ source/ sponsor of the information source?
Authority: The source of the information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- What are the author's credentials?
- What is the author's reputation among his/her piers?
- Does the resource have a reputable organisation or expert behind it?
- Is the author associated with an educational institution or well known organisation?
- Is there contact information for author/ publisher/ sponsor?
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content
- Where does the information come from and is it supported by evidence??
- Can you verify any of the information?
- Has the author used good grammar? Are there spelling or typographical errors?
- Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
Purpose: The reason the information exists
- What is the purpose of the information? Why was it written?
- Does the author exhibit a particular bias? (Political, ideological, cultural, religious or personal)
- Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?