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Website Evaluation and Citation: Evaluating Online Sources: The CRAAP Test

This guide offers you some questions to ask yourself before you decide a web site has the information you need.

Website Credibility & Validity

The Internet (or "The Web") is great.  Younger people may wonder how we ever survived without it?  However, anyone who pays to create a website can put anything on the Web.  Therefore, it's important to know where the information is coming from and it's accuracy and validity. 

It all comes down to credibility. Then how can you judge whether your web source is credible/valid?

Download the CRAAP Website Evaluation Flyer

Should I Trust a Site?

The CRAAP* Test was developed by Sarah Blakeslee and other librarians at California State University at Chico.

DOES YOUR WEB RESOURCE PASS THE CRAAP TEST? 

Ask Yourself About:

Currency: When was the information published or posted?    

  • Has the information been revised or updated? 
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

‚ÄčRelevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy: Is the information supported by evidence?

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Has the information been peer-reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: What is the purpose of the information? Is it informational, educational, commercial, etc.?

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, educate, or entertain? Is it commercial (to sell a product), or persuasive (to convince the reader to agree with a particular point of view)?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, religious, institutional or personal biases

Fact-Checking Services

Use these reputable sources to fact-check the reliability of information you may find questionable.

Watch a Youtube video on Website Evaluation

Visual learner? These videos (by library professionals) help you determine the credibility of any website.

A Monroe College Research Guide

                THIS RESEARCH OR "LIBGUIDE" WAS PRODUCED BY THE LIBRARIANS OF MONROE COLLEGE