Skip to main content

Education

How do I evaluate my sources?

Sometimes, you will need to use sources that are not academic. It is important to understand how to evaluate these sources, particularly if they are from the internet. The short video below explains the importance of evaluating your information. Another way to evaluate your sources is to use the CRAAP test. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose. Below, you will see a number of questions related to each of this criteria. It's a good idea to ask yourself these questions when you're deciding whether you should use a particular source in your assignment. 

Video: Evaluating Information Resources

Sometimes, you will have to use sources that are not academic. The short video below explains how to evaluate these resources. 

When was the information published or posted?

Consider:

  • How current is the information?

  • Do you need current information, older sources or both?

  • When was the resource last updated?

  • If there are references and links, how current are they


Does it relate to my topic and needs?

Consider:

  • Who is the intended audience?

  • Does it help me answer a question or solve a problem?

  • Will it lead to other information?

  • Does it provide evidence for or support my ideas?

  • What does it add to my work?


Who is the source of the information?

Consider:

  • Who is the author, publisher, source or sponsor of the information?

  • Are the authors' and/or publishers' affiliations clear?

  • What is their reason for publishing the material?

  • For websites, does the domain of the URL tell you anything about the author or source (.gov, .edu, .com, .org)


Is the information true and accurate?

Consider:

  • Where does the information come from?

  • Is the information supported by evidence?

  • Can that evidence be verified if necessary?

  • Are there spelling, grammar or other errors?

  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?


Why does the information exist?

Consider:

  • What is the purpose of the information?

  • Is the information factual or opinion?

  • Is the information biased?

  • Is the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?

  • Is the website sponsored or influenced by advertising revenue?