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Research Skills: CRAAP and Information Literacy

A guide to the research process, compiled by your Librarians

Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

Click on the image below to access Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers by Michael A. Caulfield. This guide will walk you through a variety of tools for evaluating and understanding information you find online. 

Cover image for Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers

The CRAAP Test

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  • Is the source current or out-of-date for the subject or topic?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?

‚ÄčThis CRAAP evaluation sheet was created by Meriam Library at the California State University. 

Click on the link below to access the full-size version.

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CRAAP and Beyond

Web and Information Literacy