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MUCEP Research: Evaluating Information

A collection of resources for facts, figures and articles on community development, public health and social problems

Criteria for Evaluating - The CRAAP Test

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• Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?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?
• Is there an obvious match, or mismatch, between the author's credentials and the topic?
• • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
• Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
***Does the URL reveal anything about the source? .gov and .edu are only for government and college/school sites, but anyone can register .com or .org

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?

Key: *** indicates criteria is for Web only