Using the C.R.A.A.P. Test to Evaluate Information
The C.R.A.A.P. Test is a way to evaluate information to decide if it is appropriate for your research.
When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and The CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.
Currency – The timeliness of the information.
- When was the information published or posted?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Does my topic require current information, or will an older source work as well?
- For the Internet, 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
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?
- For the Internet, 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?
The CRAAP Test was developed by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.