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LRC

Research Basics: Evaluating Resources

Tips and tutorials for searching Library databases and conducting research.

Online Resources

Evaluating Resources with the CRAAP Test

This test takes you through a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Keep in mind, the different quality measures will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

Currency:  How old is this information?

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information?
  • Are the links on the site functional?

Relevance: Does this information help me finish my assignment?

  • 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 easy or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?

 Authority: Is whoever created this an expert on the subject?

  • 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 (.edu/.gov/.com) reveal anything about the author or source?

 Accuracy:  How much can I trust this information?

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or verified by someone other than the author?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or typing errors?

Purpose: Why was this information created?

  • What is the purpose of the information?  Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, persuade?
  • Is the information factual, 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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