Evaluate information sources

As a university student, you'll come across a lot of information. But can you tell if the information source is credible and reliable? How do you know if it is appropriate for your assignment topic?

Evaluating information sources, whether they are from a book, scholarly database or the web, is an important step in your research. Anyone can publish online these days, so you need to make sure you choose your information source wisely.

One way to evaluate an information source is to apply the CRAAP Test which examines:

  • currency- the timeliness of the information
  • relevance - the importance of the information for your needs
  • authority - the source of the information
  • accuracy - the reliability, truthfulness and accuracy of the content
  • purpose - the reason the information exists.

For each of these, there is a set of questions that you can use to evaluate an information source:

Evaluating Information - Applying the CRAAP test (handout)