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
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Are the links current and working or do they lead to error messages and outdated pages?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.
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
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
Authority: The source of the information
Accuracy: The reliability and correctness of the informational content
Purpose: The reason the information exists
Adapted from: The University of the Fraser Valley (2009). Evaluating information: The CRAAP test. Retrieved from http://www.ufv.ca/library/tutorials/craaptest.htm