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What is the CRAAP Test?
The CRAAP Test is a way of assessing the quality of information.
It's a set of criteria/questions to consider to help you determine whether information is reliable and useful for your purposes.
See also the interactive CRAAP Agent module
How up to date is the information?
- When was the information published or last updated?
- Is the information still relevant/applicable to your subject area?
- Is there newer information available?
- For websites: are the links still functional?
- How quickly does information change in this subject area?
- (In some areas like IT or medicine, information goes out of date quickly and it's important to have newer information).
Does the information relate to your topic?
- Does the information answer or address your research question?
- Who is the intended audience? What level is the information?
- If the information is too simple or general, it might not be appropriate for an academic assignment.
- How appropriate is the information for use in your research? Is it academic information?
- Does the information contribute to your knowledge of a subject?
- Where does the information come from? Does it relate to your particular location/context?
Who generated/published the information?
- Who is the author/publisher/source of the information?
- If there is no author, the information may not be reliable.
- If the author is a company, they might be trying to sell you something.
- Check URLs. .co .com = businesses | .govt = government | .edu .ac = academic institutions
- What can you find out about them? What are their credentials or qualifications? Are they an expert in their field?
- Is the author affiliated with any educational institutions or prominent organisations?
- Can you find information about them in other sources? Do they have a good reputation?
Is the information reliable, truthful, and correct?
- Is the information supported by evidence and references? What reasons are given for statements/claims made? Be wary of information not supported by references
- Was the information peer-reviewed—i.e., was it checked by editors or experts?
- (Academic information is usually checked thoroughly before publication. Websites aren't usually checked by anyone).
- Does the information reflect what other credible sources have said about the subject? Can you verify the information with other sources? Has anything been left out that might disprove or contradict any claims made?
- Are there any statements that seem unlikely or false? Are there spelling or typographical errors?
Why does the information exist?
- Is the information trying to sell you a product? Persuade you of a particular point of view? Entertain? Inform? (This will affect how the information is presented to you).
- Is the information factual or based purely on opinion? Is it propaganda, meant to influence the reader for political, religious, cultural, or commercial reasons?
- Is the information written with obvious bias or prejudice?
- Is the language neutral/unbiased or does it try to appeal to your emotions?
Does the information you are using pass The CRAAP Test?