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Library Research Tutorial

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

Learn how to evaluate sources for credibility, not just when you are doing research for college assignments, but whenever you come across a piece of information.

The CRAAP Test has five criteria can be applied to websites, books and articles.

  • Currency

  • Relevance

  • Authority

  • Accuracy

  • Purpose


  • Currency: How recently was the website updated?  Are the links on the webpage active?

  • Relevance: Does the information relate to your topic?

  • Authority: What does the URL reveal about the author or source?

  • Accuracy: Are there spelling issues or typos?

  • Purpose: Are the intentions or purpose clear?  It is unbiased with impartial information? Is the domain a .com, .org, .edu or a .gov?



  • Currency: When was the book published? Currency varies with different disciplines. Check your assignment for requirements. Your assignment may require that books are published within the last five years.

  • Relevance: Who is the author? What are the author's credentials? Does the author have a PhD? Are other sources cited?

  • Authority: Who is the publisher? Is it self-published or published by a university press?

  • Accuracy: Is the information presented in the book supported by evidence?

  • Purpose: Who is the intended audience? Is the author writing for information, opinion, or a memoir?



  • Currency: When was the article published?

  • Relevance: Is the article peer-reviewed? Does it cover your topic? Have you looked at a variety of articles before determining which ones to use?

  • Authority: Is the author qualified to write on the subject?

  • Accuracy: Where does the information come from? Does the language and tone seem biased?

  • Purpose: Is the information intended for education, entertainment, or persuasion?