Using the CRAAP Test to Evaluate Information on the Internet

  1. Here is a link to, and the features of, the CRAAP test:

    It's school time again! Everyone has to do what they think is research, which might really be data collection, but hey.Evaluating anything you read, print or web based, involves questioning: Is it good information? Or is it *CRAAP?*

    The internet (including AN) is not always your best source for information for academic or true research work. To be sure that the nugget you've come up with is really OK to cite in your paper, apply these criteria before you use it:

    Currency: The timeliness of the information. Are there dates on the page to
    - when it was written?
    - when it was first placed on the Web?
    - when it was last revised?
    - Is it the most recent revision or version of the document?
    - Are all the links on the site current and working, i.e. are there
    outdated or "dead" links?
    - Are there any other indications that the material is kept current?

    Relevancy: The importance of the information for your needs.
    - Does it relate to my topic?
    - Does it help me answer a question or solve a problem?
    - Does it fill in background information or provide specific
    - Could it help to form my central argument?
    - Will it help me locate other information?
    - Does it provide evidence or support my ideas? Does it provide a good
    - Is it new information or am I just restating what I have already
    - What does it add to my work? Would my assignment be just as good
    without it?

    Authority: The source of the information.
    - Is it clear who produced or sponsored the site or what institution or organization its author(s) is affiliated with?
    - Is there a link describing the purpose of the sponsoring organization?
    - Is this organization recognized in the field in which you are studying?
    - Is it clear who wrote the material? And what the author's qualifications are?
    - Is there an address to contact for more information?
    - If the material is protected by copyright, is the name of the copyright holder given?

    Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the informational content
    - Are sources of any factual information listed in a clear and complete manner so that they can be verified if necessary?
    - Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and other errors?
    - If statistical data is presented in graph or chart form, is it legible and clearly labeled?

    Purpose: The reason the information exists.
    - Is the information provided as a public service?
    - Does the point of view appear to be objective and impartial? Does it acknowledge other perspectives or conflicting information?
    - If there is any advertising on the page, is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?
    - Are the authors' biases (if any) clearly stated i.e. is it an opinion piece? A political message? A product advertisement?
    - Be alert to political, religious, ideological, cultural, institutional or personal biases
    - Is it meant to inform? Teach? Or is it meant to entertain? Persuade? Sell a product, an idea, or way of thinking?
    - Is the information fact? Or is it propaganda? Opinion?
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '13
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  3. by   rubato
    Thanks for the input. I only use peer reviewed scholarly articles and journals when doing my research, but it's amazing how many people will just read anything off the internet as fact. Good guidelines.
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    When the syllabus has to include the line "Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference" you know students don't care about the quality of their references or just don't know the difference.
  5. by   MomaNurse
    Excellent as usual! You knocked that CRAAP right out of the park!
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '13