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This guide will introduce students to psychology resources, both print & electronic.

Psych websites

Is this website reliable?

Before you use a website for your research, it is wise to consider the source. There are many ways to determine if a site contains reliable information. The following criteria can apply to any information you find, not just the web.

Give the CRAAP Test a try!


Currency: 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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?

• Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

• 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?

Authority: 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 qualifications to write on the topic?

• Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?

• Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

• 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 biased and free of emotion?

• Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: 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?


*This information is created by Meriam Library, California State University, Chico