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East Providence High School Library: Website Evaluation

Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate

CRAAP Test

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  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?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?

Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given? If yes, what are they?
  • 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 .edu .gov .org

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational 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 obvious errors (spelling, grammar, etc.)?

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?

“Evaluating Websites Using the CRAAP Test.” Eastern Michigan University Library, Eastern Michigan University, www.emich.edu/library/help/craap/index.php.

Web Evaluation Tool

Use this web evaluation tool whenever you use an unapproved website for research and attach it to your paper behind the Works Cited page. Use the point scale on the bottom of the form to decide if the source is acceptable.

Evaluating Websites

Why should you evaluate websites? 
The accuracy of information found on the web is not evaluated before it is published, so you have to know how to do it yourself. Some websites are created and written by experts, but most of the information you will find on the web is not. Anyone can have a website or blog to share their opinions and what they believe is true, so making sure a site is reputable is extremely important.
 
If using information from the Internet, websites should be evaluated for the following:
  • Authority and Accuracy
  • Purpose and Content
  • Currency
  • Design, Organization and Ease of Use
Click below for "Evaluating Websites: A Checklist" from the University of Maryland Libraries. In addition to explaining the four points of evaluation mentioned above, this comprehensive tool takes you through the steps needed to ensure a website is reliable.