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Students @ a Distance

Using the CRAAP Test

When you find a source and you're not sure if it's credible or useful, run it through the CRAAP test: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.

The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a list of questions that you can use to help you evaluate information. Depending on your information need, different criteria will be more or less important


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  • Is the information current or out-of-date for my topic?
  • WEB SITE: Are the links functional?


The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for my needs)?
  • Have I looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one I will use?
  • Would I be comfortable using this source for a research paper?


The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliation given?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as publisher or e-mail address?
  • WEB SITE: Does the URL reveal anything about the source?  .com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net


The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • 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?


The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? pursuade?
  • 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?

Based on Meriam Library, California State University, Chico


.com - Commercial

.edu - Educational institution

.org - Organization or association

.gov - Government website

.ca - Canadian website

.uk - United Kingdom website

~ - Personal website

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask

Steps and Guidelines for effectively evaluating websites. (From UC-Berkeley)