Googling for information may produce lots of results, but how can we evaluate the quality of those sites?
TAKE THE CRAAP TEST!
CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information.
- When was the information posted?
- Are the links functional and not out-of-date?
RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs.
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or too advanced for your needs)?
- Would you be comfortable citing this source on your reference page?
AUTHORITY: The source of the information.
- Is the author, source, or sponsor identified? What are the author's credentials?
- Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (ex. .com, .edu, .gov)?
ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.
- Where does the information come from?
- Has the information been peer reviewed?
- Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
PURPOSE: The reason the information exists.
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, persuade, or entertain?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
The CRAAP test was developed in 2004 by librarians at California State University at Chico and provides a quick method for examining the quality of any information source -- especially websites.