The CRAAP Test


For this assignment, I had to research the CRAAP Test. I discovered that the abbreviation stands for Currency, Authority, Accuracy, Relevance, and Purpose.

The object of the assignment was to visit different websites to determine if they were relevant and reliable. Below I will define the CRAAP test as it relates to each website.

When using resources from the internet, be it information found on Google or through the library databases, you must justify why the information is good to use. A simple tool called the CRAAP Evaluation can help you become a good judge of information.

The CRAAP Test is a test that has a checklist that was developed by Merriam Library in California. This test is a website or web resource evaluation that is used to determine if the website or web resources are current, relevant, have authority, accuracy and if it has a purpose.

CRAAP Test: Tips on Evaluating Sources 

Currency: the Timeliness of the Information

  • How recent is the information?
  • Can you locate a date when the page(s) were written/created/updated?
  • Based on your topic, is the information current enough?

CRAAP Test for the Topic Currency is as follow : 


Reliability: the importance of the information

  • What kind of information is included on the Web site?
  • Is the content primarily fact, or opinion?
  • Is the information balanced, or biased?
  • Does the author provide references for quotations and data?
  • If there are links, do they work?

CRAAP Test for the Topic Relevance is as follow : 


Authority: the source of the information

Can you determine who the author/creator is?

Is there a way to contact them?

What are their credentials (education, affiliation, experience, etc.)?

Who is the publisher or sponsor of the site? Are they reputable?

CRAAP Test for the Topic Currency is as follow : 


Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information

Is it accurate? Is it supported by evidence?

Is the information balanced or biased?

Was it peer-reviewed?

Can you verify the information from another reliable source?

Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Can you determine who the author/creator is?

Is there a way to contact them?

CRAAP Test for the Topic Accuracy is as follow : 


Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What's the intent of the Web site (to persuade, to sell you something, etc.)?
  • What is the domain (.edu, .org, .com, etc.)?
  • Are there ads on the Web site?
  • How do they relate to the topic being covered (e.g., an ad for ammunition next to an article about firearms legislation)?
  • Is the author presenting fact or opinion?
  • Who might benefit from a reader believing this Web site?
  • Based on the writing style, who is the intended audience?

CRAAP Test for the Topic Purpose is as follow : 


CRAAP Analysis

Let’s take a closer look at how analyzing the C.R.A.A.P. in a source can serve as a valuable source evaluation tool.

Currency: The timeliness of the information

Key Question: When was the item of information published or produced?

Determining when an item of information was published or produced is an aspect of evaluating information. The date information was published or produced tells you how current it is or how contemporaneous it is with the topic you are researching. There are two facets to the issue of currency.

  • Is the information the most recent version?
  • Is the information the original research, description, or account?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

Key Question: How does this source contribute to my research paper?

The discussion of suitability above is essentially the same thing as relevance. When you read through your source, consider how the source will effectively support your argument and how you can utilize the source in your paper. 

Some questions to consider are:

  • Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
  • Who is the intended audience? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too simple or advanced) for my needs?
  • Did I look at a variety of sources before deciding to use this one?
  • Would I be comfortable using this source for my college research paper?

Authority: The source of the information

Key Question: Is the person, organization, or institution responsible for the intellectual content of the information knowledgeable in that subject?

Determining the knowledge and expertise of the author of information is an important aspect of evaluating the reliability of the information. Anyone can make an assertion or a statement about something, event, or idea, but only someone who knows or understands what that thing, event, or idea is can make a reasonably reliable statement or assertion about it.

Some external indications of knowledge of or expertise are:

  • Aformal academic degree in a subject area professional or work-related experience–businessmen,
  • Government agency personnel, sports figures, etc. have expertise in their area of work active involvement in a subject or organization by serious amateurs who spend substantial amounts of personal time researching and studying that subject area.
  • Organizations, agencies, institutions, corporations with active involvement or work in a particular subject area.

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information

Key Question: How free from error is this piece of information?

Establishing the accuracy, or relative accuracy, of information is an important part of evaluating the reliability of the information. It is easier to establish the accuracy of facts than it is opinions, interpretations, or ideas. It may be completely accurate but corroborating it is both more necessary and more difficult. An important aspect of accuracy is the intellectual integrity of the item.

  • Are the sources appropriately cited in the text and listed in the references?
  • Are quotations cited correctly and in context?
  • Out of context quotations can be misleading and sometimes completely erroneous. Are there exaggerations, omissions, or errors?

These are difficult to identify if you use only one source of information. Always use several different sources of information on your topic.

Purpose: The reason the information exists

Key Question: Who is this information is written for or this product developed for?

Identifying the intended audience of the information or product is another aspect of evaluating information. The intended audience of an item generally determines the style of presentation, the level of technical detail, and the depth of coverage.

There are times when information expressing a particular point of view or bias is useful, but you must use it consciously. You must know what the point of view is and why that point of view is important to your project.