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Jamestown Schools Libraries: Melrose and Lawn: Research Resources

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Lawn School Library Resources


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Evaluating Sources - The CRAAP Test

How to Evaluate a Research Resource

 How to Evaluate a Source


To determine whether your source is rigorous enough and reputable enough to be used in your paper, ask yourself the following questions.



Who is the author? It could be an organization or group as well as an individual.

            What are his/her/their qualifications and credentials?

            What is the domain (.gov, .com, .org) and what does that suggest?




What is the purpose of the website? (entertainment? business? education? persuasion?

   advocacy for an issue or policy?)

What does the “about us” or “who we are” link say about the purpose and goals of

   the author(s)?

Are there links to other organizations or websites? What are the purposes of these sites?


Quality of information:

    Is the site up-to-date? Check to see when it was updated, revised, maintained.

    Are the links current and working or do they lead to error messages and outdated pages?

The University of Maryland has a great website evaluation form that will help you collect information about your website to determine whether you should use it.

Applying the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a series of questions to ask about any source of information.  The questions will help you decide whether your source is credible and appropriate for use in your research.


Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • Do you know when the information was published, posted, or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study?


Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Is the information appropriate for a college-level course?
  • Is this an adequately in-depth discussion of the topic?
  • Has Canadian perspective or content been provided?


Authority: The source of the information

  • Have the author's credentials or organizational affiliations been identified?
  • Is the author (or authors) qualified to write on the topic?
  • Has the piece been published by a well-known and respected publisher or organization?


Accuracy: The reliability and correctness of the informational content

  • Have the author's sources been clearly cited so that you can easily find (and verify) them?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?


Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, unbiased and impartial?
  • Does the author acknowledge alternative versions of the issues or facts?


Adapted from: The University of the Fraser Valley (2009). Evaluating information: The CRAAP test. Retrieved from