Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Video: Evaluating Websites Tutorial
Video: Evaluating Info, Knowing What to Trust
The CRAAP Test
An easy way to evaluate each website you visit is to use the CRAAP test.
Currency: the timeliness of the information
- Does the site include the dates it was created and updated?
- How current are the links? Have any expired or moved?
- Consider if currency is especially important for the research topic.
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 (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
- Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
- Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
Authority: the source of the information
- Is there an author? What are his or her qualifications?
- What is the sponsoring organization? Is it reputable?
- Is the domain appropriate for the search (.edu, .com, .gov, .org, .net, etc.)?
- Look for links providing information about the author and his or her e-mail address.
- Check for "about us," "philosophy," etc. for information about the organization.
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.
- Is the information reliable and correct?
- Is there an editor who verifies the information?
- Remember, anyone can publish anything on the web, and there are no web standards for accuracy.
Purpose: the reason the information exists
- Does the website show a minimum of bias?
- Is there advertising on the page?
- Is the site objective or designed with a specific purpose in mind? Is the purpose of the site to sell, to inform, to persuade?
When reviewing websites, also think about coverage. Consider:
- Does the site contribute something unique to the Subject?
- How does the site compare with other sites on this topic?
- Is material covered in depth rather than superficially?
- Is there a balance of text and images?
- Is the site readily viewable, not needing special software or requiring a fee?
Tips for Evaluating Social Media Sources
Social media can provide instant news and information faster than traditional news outlets or sources. You can find a great deal of useful and reputable information on social media, however there is also an ever increasing need to verify and determine accuracy of this information.
Video: Evaluating Social Media
Coulter Library, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY