Apply the CRAP test to evaluate a source:
- How recent is the information?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Is it current enough for your topic?
- Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
- Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
- Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
- Who is the creator or author?
- What are their credentials or organization affiliations?
- What are the credentials?
- Who is the publisher or sponsor?
- Are they reputable?
- What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
- Are there advertisements on the website?
- Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
- Where does the information come from?
- Is the information supported by evidence?
- Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
- 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?
- Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is is balanced?
Purpose/Point of View
- Is this fact or opinion?
- Is it biased?
- Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
- Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
CRAAP Test Worksheet
See also: Crap Detection 101 by Howard Rheingold
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/2346562184/ CC License
The CRAAP Test was developed by librarians at California State University, Chico.