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• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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
**Further web page evaluation tips under the Advanced Operators Tab.
Using the CRAAP test, evaluate the following 3 websites. If researching for information on agave and medicinal uses, which is the best to use and which is the worst?