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Using CRAAP to evaluate information


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

  1. When was the information published, printed or posted? 
  2. Has the information been updated or revised? 
  3. Does the topic require current information, or will older source work just as well?
  4. Are there any broken links? 

Relevance looks at the importance of the information you need. 

  1. Does the information relate to your research or assignment topic? 
  2. Who is the intended audience? 
  3. Is the information at the appropriate level (e.g. not too immature or too advanced) 
  4. Have you looked at various other sources of information before determining this is the source you will use? 
  5. Would you be comfortable citing this source of information in your assignment or research? 

Authority looks at how reliable or credible the source of information is 

  1. Who is the author/publisher? 
  2. What are the author's credentials or organisational affiliations? 
  3. Is the author qualified to write on this particular subject area? 
  4. Is there contact information such as a publisher or author's email address? 
  5. Does the URL reveal anything about the source? (e.g.,com,,, .net) 

Accuracy looks at the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content 

  1. Where does the information come from? 
  2. Is the information supported by evidence and well cited? 
  3. Has the information been reviewed or referred to? 
  4. Can you verify the information through the cited sources? 
  5. Does the language and tone seem free from biases? 
  6. Are there any spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose looks at the reasons why such information exists

  1. What is the purpose of this information? Is it to inform, persuade, teach, sell or entertain? 
  2. Does the author make the intentions of this information clear? 
  3. Is this information fact, opinion or propaganda? 
  4. Does this information seem objective and impartial? 
  5. Are there any political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases? 

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.