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Evaluating Information: CRAAP Test


Whether you are evaluating a print source, something you've found online, a news item, or even a video clip, it's important to evaluate information for credibility.  Keep the following criteria in mind, and ask yourself these questions as you encounter new information, regardless of the source.


Questions to consider:


(The timeliness of the information)

  • 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  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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? 


(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 using this source for a research paper?


(The source of the information)

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  •  Are author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  •  What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  •  Does the author have a reputation?
  •  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)


(The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational 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 unbiased and free of emotion?
  •  Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?


(The reason the information 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?

Created by Merriam Library, California State University, Chico


Video Tutorial (by LOEX - Library Orientation Exchange):

Evaluating Information Sources with the CRAAP Model:

Evaluating Web Sites Activity

1. Examine the websites below

2. Apply the CRAAP test to each website

3. Determine which website is valid or contains the most reliable information


  • Check the "About" or "Contact" links
  • Look for a last updated or copyright date
  • Check the extension - .org, .com, .net, etc.
  • Check for errors in spelling or page format
  • Beware of broken links 
  • Check for a "Disclaimer" link
  • Personal web pages often have ~ in the URL





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