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Evaluating Sources - CRAAP Test: Getting Started

Some tips on how to evaluate sources.

Information Overload

   The Internet is a wonderful thing; however, it can be tricky evaluating how good the information is.  Finding information is the easy part. Evaluating the accuracy, quality, objectivity, and currency of the information is the tricky part.  You can find any "fact" you want on the Internet.  (There is even a webpage dedicated to proving that Earth is flat!)  

   Learning how to evaluate the information you come across is just as important as learning how to find information.  So when you are asked to research a topic for class you can't just simply Google it and submit the top results as fact.  See if the information, no matter where you find it, will hold up to the CRAP test.  

Evaluating sources

The C.R.A.A.P. Test

Evaluate Sources Based on the Following Criteria:

Currency

·         How recent is the information?

·         How recently has the website been updated?

·         Is it current enough for your topic?

 

Relevance

·         What kind of information is included in the resource?

·         Is content of the resource primarily opinion?  Is is balanced?

·         Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?

 

Authority

·         Who is the creator or author?

·         What are the credentials?

·         Who is the published or sponsor?

·         Are they reputable?

·         What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?

·         Are there advertisements on the website?

 

Accuracy

  • Does the information seem too good to be true?
  • Are there are other sources that make similar claims, statements, and conclusions?
  • Does the source have information on the author?
  • Does the source have a lot of citations? 

Purpose/Point of View

·         Is this fact or opinion?

·         Is it biased?

·         Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

 

(adapted from LOEX 2008 wiki)

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