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Evaluating Sources

Is your source credible? Is it a journal or magazine? Learn how to determine the credibility of your sources.

Evaluating Sources: Getting Started

Evaluating Sources: Getting Started

It is important you choose your sources carefully. Use the CRAAP test to evaluate your sources for their quality and credibility. 

Currency
  • The timeliness of the information:
    • When was the information published? 
    • Has the information been revised or updated?
    • Is the information out-of-date for your topic?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?
    • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use
    • Would you feel comfortable using this source for a research paper?
Authority 
  • The source of the information:
    • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
    • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
    • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
    • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
    • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? 
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 or free of emotion? 
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 or impartial?
    • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, intuitional, or personal bias? 

Evaluating Sources (Video) 

Courtesy of Western University