Search results are selected by computer software, not by human experts. Use the following list of questions to carefully evaluate what you find.
*See the PDF version of the list at the bottom of this box: CRAAP Test for Evaluating Resources*
CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information
Does your assignment require current information?
When was the information published or posted?
Has the information been revised or updated recently?
Are the links on the website up-to-date?
RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs
Does the information answer your question?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level for your audience (i.e. not too basic or advanced)?
Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper or speech?
AUTHORITY: The source of the information
Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
Is an email address or phone number provided for the author/source?
Has the author stated their credentials or organizational affiliations? Hint: Look up the author in a biographical reference source.
Is the author qualified to write on this topic?
Does the website URL tell you anything about the author or source? Hint: .edu .gov .org .com
ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
Is the information supported by evidence? Hint: Is there a References, Bibliography, or Works Cited list?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed? Hint: Is the source a scholarly or peer-reviewed journal?
Can the information be verified with another source? Hint: Verify questionable facts, statistics, etc. with a reputable source. Don't depend on one source for all of your information, especially if you are not familiar with the topic.
Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
Is the language unbiased and free of emotion?
PURPOSE: The reason the information exists
What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear? Hint: On websites look for links that say "About Us" "Philosophy" or "Mission."
Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? Hint: If the source deals with a controversial topic, look for an identification of the author's bias.
Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
* modified from Evaluating Information -- Applying the CRAAP Test from California State University, Chico.