Trocaire College Libraries
A simple way to evaluate information is called the CRAAP test. Developed by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico, this test looks at 5 methods for determining if information is valid
Currency - The chronological relationship between the source’s date and your research need
- When was the information created or published?
- Does my research/topic require the most current information? If yes...Is this information outdated by current medical or scientific standards? (Articles written with the last 3-5 years are best to ensure you are not looking at outdated information).
- Has the website or book been updated recently?
- Does the website have dead links?
Some areas of study may need the most updated information while others may not
Relevance - The extent to which this source meets your research needs
Authority - The author or creator of the information
- Who is the source of this information?
- What are their credentials or training in this field?
- Are they qualified to write about this topic?
- What is the website's domain?
Both who wrote the information and who sponsors the information should be taken into consideration when determining authority
Accuracy - The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
- Where does the information come from?
- Are there links or citations to support the information presented?
- Has the information been proven by someone other than the author?
- Has an outside party reviewed the information and found it correct?
Determining accuracy may require you to research additional sources
Purpose - The reason the information exists
- Who is creating this information?
- Why was this information published?
- Is it to sell you something or to sell your information?
- Is it to mislead you?
- Is the information impartial and free of biased language?
- Are they trying to distort the truth?
The websites domain, along with it's content, can be helpful in determining purpose