You will review many resources as you conduct your research. But how can you tell if these resources and information are reliable or credible enough to include in your research?
There is a structured test to help you evaluate resources, known as the CRAAP test.
The CRAAP test was developed by a librarian, Sarah Blakeslee and her library team at California State University. It is essentially a list of questions in 5 categories which will assist you in gauging if the information you are looking at is trustworthy.
You can use the questions in each category as a guide to evaluate and analyse the various sources of information. You can use this test on journal articles, websites, newspaper articles, books, blog posts, etc.
The main aim of the test is to help you take a more in-depth and analytical look at when, where, why and how the information was created. It will also help you select the most credible information you want to include in your research.
CRAAP stands for:
As you review the information, ask yourself the questions in each category below. These questions will help you decide on the credibility of the information; this will then help you determine if you want to include the information in your research.
Currency looks at the timeliness of the information.
Relevance looks at the importance of the information you need.
Authority looks at how reliable or credible the source of information is
Accuracy looks at the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content
Purpose looks at the reasons why such information exists
You can also turn the CRAAP test on your research paper or assignment. Just use the same questions to evaluate the content in your work. This will help you better understand the quality of your work and how other students, researchers, and academics may assess what you have written.