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HSE 123 - Harvel

Evaluation Criteria

When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself. The CRAAP test (opens in new window) is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Some questions will be more important than others depending upon your need.

CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information.

  • 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?

RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs.  

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?  
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?  
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?  

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: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Where does the information come from?  
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been 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: 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 or purpose clear?  
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propagand
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?  
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Organizations and Information