Skip to main content


HIST 1111/World Civ I: Evaluating Sources


Identifying an empirical research article

CRAAP Test: a criteria for evaluation of information resources

Currency: (The timeliness of the information)

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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?
  • Are author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Does the author have a reputation?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail 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 informational 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 other typographical errors?

Purpose: (The reason the information exists)

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Created by Merriam Library, California State University, Chico

What do you think?

Compare these  two websites and apply the CRAAP test. What do you think? Which website would you cite in a paper?

CRAAP Test Quick Tips

Quick Tips

  • Check the "About" or "Contact" links to see if a physical address or phone number exists
  • Look for a last updated or copyright date
  • Be mindful of the URL - personal web pages often include the person's name
  • Check the extension - .org, .com, .net, .edu, etc.
  • Check for errors in spelling or page format
  • Beware of broken links 
  • Look for a "Disclaimer" link