Answered By: LibraryResearchTeam Lebanon
Last Updated: Jan 02, 2020     Views: 156

Unlike books and scholarly databases, it's easy for anyone to create a website or edit a Wikipedia entry. Websites can provide quick and up-to-the-minute information, but not all of it is true, trustworthy, or appropriate for college-level research. So, it's important to ask a few questions to make sure the sites we're using are reliable for research.

The CRAAP Test

  • Currency - Is it recent?
  • Relevance - How closely does it relate to my topic?
  • Authority - Who created this?
  • Accuracy - Where did the author get their information?
  • Purpose - Why does this information exist?

Evaluate websites using the questions below. If you can say “yes” to all of the questions, you have a trustworthy source. If you say “no” to any of these questions, this may not be the best source to use in your research.

Currency

The original date of publication or the last updated date is within the last five years (or within the date range assigned by your professor).

(If you can’t find a date, choose no.)

yes

no

Relevance

The content is closely related to the topic of my research. 

yes

no

The information seems neither too simple nor too difficult for me to understand.

yes

no

Authority

The author, publisher, source, or sponsor of the site is named.

yes

no

The author or publisher is an expert on this topic.

(If you can’t tell what the author’s job or the publisher’s purpose is, choose no.)

yes

no

Accuracy

References are given for where your source got their information.

OR

The source is a researcher or government agency responsible for collecting and creating the information

yes

no

Information is clear with no spelling or grammar mistakes.

On websites there are no broken links.

yes

no

Purpose

On websites (not databases), the address ends in .edu, or .gov.

yes

no

The source has no advertisements and is not trying to sell you anything.

yes

no

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