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ISM1000C - BC Online

Evaluating Web Sources

The CRAAP Test

Before you rely on your Internet source, ask some simple but crucial questions about it. 

Currency  

If it's important to have current, up-to-date information about your topic, then ask:

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Are links on the page dead? 

Relevance

Not all information about your topic is going to meet your needs. To find out, ask: 

  • How does the information relate to your topic?
  • Does the information answer your question? 

Authority

Knowing who wrote and published the information will tell you whether it's credible or unbiased. 

  • What makes the author a credible source on this specific subject?
  • What does the domain name/URL reveal about the source?
    • .com and .net: can be used for commercial sites or purchased by anyone
    • .edu: used by universities and other educational organizations
    • .org: typically used by non-profit entities
    • .gov: used by departments, agencies or offices of the U.S. federal government

Accuracy 

Because you're likely not an expert on the subject you are researching, it's important that claims being made in your sources are as accurate as possible. 

  • Is this information very different from other information you've read about this topic?
  • Are there references to original sources?

Purpose

Information can be presented to inform, persuade, entertain, or sell something to you. 

  • Does the author or page clearly state its purpose, biases, or agenda?  

Source: Adapted from Northeastern Illinois University and California State University, Chico