Evaluating Sources

Is your source CRAAP tested?

Critically analyzing sources is an important component of the research process. Use these questions to evaluate a source:

  • CURRENCY: to determine if the date of publication of the information is suitable for your project.
    • What is the copyright, publication, or posting date?
    • Why is or isn’t the date important for the message or content of the source?
  • RELEVANCE: To determine how applicable the information is for the purpose of your project.
    • For what audience or level is the information written (general public, experts/scholars, etc)?
    • Explain why you would or would not quote/reference the information from this source in your project.
  • AUTHORITY: To determine if the source author, creator, or publisher of the information is an expert on the the subject.
    • Who is the author. creator, or publisher of the source or which organization is responsible for the source?
    • How do you know if the author is an expert on the topic (e.g. examine the author’s credentials and/or organization affiliation)?
  • ACCURACY: To determine the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content. 
    • What indications do you see that the information is or is not well-researched or provides sufficient evidence? What kind of language.
  • PURPOSE: To determine the reason why the information exists.
    • Why was the source written? (e.g. inform, teach, ,entertain, persuade)?
    • How might the author’s affiliation affect the point-of-view, slant, or potential bias of the source?

Information Use and Fluency Department, Milner Library, Illinois State University 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License