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NABU 330

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Always evaluate your source to ensure they are high quality and reliable. This is an important step both when you're at university and in your future careers. 

What is a Quality Resource?


The CRAAP Test was developed by the librarians at CSU-Chico. It is a list of guiding questions to ask yourself when evaluating your sources. It can help you determine if a source is appropriate for your project.

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information too old for your topic?
  • 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 using this source for a 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 this topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

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 biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information (ie to inform, sell, persuade, etc.)?
  • 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, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

View the original CRAAP test.

The Five Ws

Who wrote it?

  • Author, credentials, organization

What type of source is it?

  • Scholarly or popular? Website or Journal article? Technical language or Casual language?

When was it written?

  • Is it current information?

Where did the information in the article come from?

  • Is it original research? Did they cite their sources? Is it based on previous findings?

Why is it being written?

  • Is it to share research with other academics? Is it to change your point of view? Is it trying to sell you something?

What is peer-review?