Evaluating Resources: the CRAAPO TEST
Consider the following questions as you evaluate the source and determine its reliability.
Currency: the timeliness of the information
- When was the information published or posted?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
- 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 using this source for a research paper?
Authority: the source of the information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
- What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
- 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 biased and free of emotion?
- Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?
Purpose: the reason the information exists
- What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Is the information fact? opinion? Propaganda?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Objectivity: the impartiality of the information
- What institution (company, organization, government, university, etc.) supports this information?
- Does the institution appear to exercise quality control over the information appearing under its name?
- Does the author's affiliation with this particular institution appear to bias the information?
- Is there advertising and does it affect the content and message of the source?
After evaluating this source, do you think you will use it for your paper? Why or why not?
If you are not sure, explain why.
from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico