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Finding Reliable Sources: CRAAP Test

What is the CRAAP test?

When doing research, remember that not all information is good information, especially in an online environment.  Developed by librarians at California State University-Chico, the CRAAP Test is a handy checklist to use when evaluating a web resource (or ANY resource).  The test provides a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not a source is reliable and credible enough to use in your academic research paper. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.  

Currency: The timeliness of the Information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • 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 citing this source in your research paper? 

Authority: The Source of the Information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net 

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 unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors? 

Purpose: The Reason the Information Exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

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Lanier Technical College Libraries

Kathryn Thompson
Director of Library Services

Hall Campus
770-533-6968
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Min Su
Librarian

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678-341-6636
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Tina Jordan
Librarian

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Patrick Stanley
Librarian

Barrow & Jackson Campus
770-294-4525
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