Credibility Checklist: Does it pass the CRAAP test?

When examining an article for reliability, check it for CRAAP.

  • Currency: Is the source current or out of date for your topic? Can you even find a date of publication or last update?
  • Relevance:  Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? To the best of your knowledge does it appear to cover the topic in adequate depth, especially compared to other sources and your needs? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Authority:  Can you identify the author or creator?  What are the author's credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area?  
  • Accuracy: Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched? Supported by evidence? Are sources listed in a bibliography or included in links to the documents themselves?  Are the sources themselves authoritative?
  • Purpose and Point of View/Bias: What is the purpose or motive for the publication/site? (e.g., educational, commercial, entertainment, promotional) Is it trying to sell you something? Would you say the information is fact, opinion, or propaganda? In other words, what's the bias? Is the author's point of view objective and impartial? 

Beside the first question, these work for print as well as web resources.

OPTIONAL LINKS: Be Critical. Other Resources on Credibility Evaluation

Analyze and evaluate your search results. Have you found the most authoritative, accurate, objective, up-to-date, scholarly information available on your research topic?