CRAAP is an acronym that stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. The CRAAP Test is a checklist method to evaluate the quality of your sources. Below is a description of each aspect of the CRAAP test and the types of questions to ask yourself when looking at a resource whether print or online.
Currency: Looks at 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- Is the information current or out-of-date for my topic?
- Does it matter to my research when the information was written?
- Are the links functional?
Relevance: Looks at the importance of the information for your research needs
- Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
- Who is the intended audience? (Consumer? Academic?)
- 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 the one I will use?
- Would I be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
Authority: Looks at the source of the information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
- What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations that are given?
- 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?
- .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government)
- .org (nonprofit organization), or
- .net (network)
Accuracy: Looks at 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 I 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 spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?
Purpose: Looks at 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?