The craap test

When trying to evaluate the reliability of information, use the CRAAP test:

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

•   When was the information published or posted?
•   Has the information been revised or updated?
•   Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
•   Are the links functional?

Relevance: 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 citing this source in your project?

Authority: The source of the information.

•   Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
•   What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
•   Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
•   Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
•   Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the 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 typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

• What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
• Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
• Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
• Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

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