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. CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. 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 (commercial)
- .edu (educational)
- .gov (U.S. government)
- .org (nonprofit organization)
- .net (network)
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.