Regardless of where you are looking for information it’s essential that you critically evaluate the information to determine if it’s a good match for your needs. You probably do this already. For example, when scanning through search results, whether in a library database or Google, you inherently make decisions on which article to read or which site to visit based on a very quick primary assessment of the results. Another way to go about this process is by applying the CRAAP Test.
EVALUATING INFORMATION RESOURCES – APPLYING THE CRAAP TEST
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
⇒ When was the information published or posted?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
⇒ Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Authority: The source of the information.
⇒ What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
⇒ Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
⇒ 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?
⇒ Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
⇒ Is its purpose to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
⇒ Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
⇒ Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?