Evaluating Web Sites: Applyng the CRAAP Test

How to Evaluate Resources

The CRAAP Test is a useful guide to evaluating resources. CRAAP is an acronym for the general
categories of criteria that can be used to evaluate information you find. 
Use the CRAAP Test to
decide if information is appropriate for your research!

       
 

CRAAP

  Questions to consider about:
      Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, Purpose

 
       
 

Currency

  • When was the information published or last updated?
  • Have newer articles been published on your topic?
  • Are links or references to other sources up to date?
  • Is your topic in an area that changed rapidly, like technology or popular culture?

Examples:

Outdated Information: http://www.vegsource.com/harris/b_cancer.htm

Current Website: http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/vegetarian/

 
       
 

Relevance

  • Does the information answer your research question?
  • Does the information meet the stated requirements of the assignment?
  • Is the information too technical or too simplified for you to use?
  • Does the source add something new to your knowledge of the topic?

Examples:

Questionable Depth:

http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/popsci.html

http://www.timeforkids.com/

 
       
 

Authority

  • What are the author’s credentials?
  • Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or prominent organization?
  • Can you find information about the author from reference sources or the Internet?
  • Do other books or authors cite the author?

Examples:

Example of why you should examine the URL and the sponsoring organization:

http://www.python.org/~guido/

Example of a more reputable website:

http://heinzhome.heinzctrinfo.net/index.html

 
       
 

Accuracy

  • Are there statements you know to be false?
  • Are there errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar?
  • Was the information reviewed by editors or subject experts before it was published?
  • What citations or references support the author’s claims?
  • What do other people have to say about the topic?

Examples:

Example of why sources should be verified:

http://www.improbable.com/airchives/classical/cat/feline-nov2001.html

 
       
 

Purpose

  • Is the author’s purpose to sell, persuade, entertain, or inform?
  • Is there an obvious bias or prejudice?
  • Are alternative points of view presented?
  • Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprove the claim?
  • Does the author use strong or emotional language?

 Examples:

 Examples of websites with possible bias: 

 http://www.zip4tweens.com/

 http://www.beefnutrition.org/

 http://www.chevron.com/globalissues/climatechange/