Credibility Checklist--a Good Example
The exercise in this section is from a guide developed by UC Berkeley Library on Evaluating Sources.
EXERCISE: Locate a reference that you think provides good information for your topic and then answer the questions on this evaluation checklist. This process will help you evaluate the credibility of the source.
- Authority: Can you identify the author or creator? What are the author's credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area?
- Currency: Is the source current or out of date for your topic? Can you even find a date of publication or last update?
- Purpose: What is the purpose or motive for the publication/site? (e.g., educational, commercial, entertainment, promotional) Is it trying to sell you something?
- Bias: 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?
- Accuracy of Details: Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched? Are sources listed in a bibliography or included in links to the documents themselves? Are the sources themselves authoritative?
When you search for information on a topic, you are often going to find lots of it, especially if you are doing an internet search. But is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.
Be Critical--Some Other Methods & Ideas
Analyze and evaluate your search results. Have you found the most authoritative, accurate, objective, up-to-date, scholarly information available on your research topic?
- How to Critically Analyze Information Sources lists some of the critical questions you should ask when you consider the appropriateness of a particular book, article, media resource, or Web site for your research.
- Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria shows how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and appearance.
See Evaluating Resources for additional information.