The CRAAP Test
What makes a source credible and high quality?
When evaluating a source to use in your research, use the CRAAP test:
- When was the information published, updated, and/or revised?
- Is the information still current for the topic?
- Relevance (intended audience):
- How much information is presented (superficial or detailed)?
- Is the information related and relevant to your topic?
- Is the readership level appropriate (not too simple or sophisticated)?
- Who is the author and publisher/sponsor?
- What are their credentials? Check credentials in an "About" page or search for information about the author and publisher/sponsor.
- Has the information been reviewed by editors or experts?
- Accuracy (verifiability):
- Does the source match your understanding of the topic?
- Can you verify the claims in other sources?
- Is there a Bibliography/Works Cited list or sources mentioned within the text? If so, are their sources of high quality?
- Purpose (objectivity):
- Is the purpose stated?
- Is the topic approached from an objective standpoint (fact)?
- If subjective (opinion), is there any author's bias (special-interest point of view) and how might it influence the information presented?
- Were other views presented?
Looking at all of your sources together:
- Variety: Do you have a variety of source types (Database - Reference, Database - Magazine/Newspaper, Website, Digital Media, etc.)? Having a variety of sources helps to provide multiple perspectives and a range in scope of a topic.
- Quantity: Do you have enough articles to thoroughly understand your topic, addressing any specified subtopics or research questions? Avoid overreliance on any one source.
Using quality sources and citing them in a research project strenghtens your credibility.
*Borrowed from Downers Grove North Library. CRAAP originally developed by librarians at CSU Chico.