Evaluating Sources

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C.R.A.A.P.: Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose

Choosing articles or books for a research project? Your professor will expect you to justify your choices. Be prepared to answer the following about each item.


Currency: Is the information recent enough for your topic/field of research? Does recent matter?


Was this published within an appropriate number of years or around the time of an original event?


Relevancy: Does the information apply to your topic?


Is it a primary or secondary source?

How much of the information applies to your topic?

Is the information general or detailed, balanced or biased?


Authority: Who authored this information? Are they a trustworthy source of information?


Was it a single person or several people?

Was it a corporation or organization?

Are their credentials provided?

Are methods/references provided?

Was this peer-reviewed?

What is the domain? (Many Internet sources are not reviewed before being posted; however, government, educational, and organizational sites often have some sort of review process. If no review process is stated or evident, you may assume there is none.)

  • .GOV = government
  • .COM = business
  • .ORG = organization
  • .EDU = educational affiliation
  • .NET = network


Accuracy: Is the information still factually correct?

Are there any errors in the information?

Does the site employ fact-checking for the website?


Purpose: Why was this written?


Who is the intended audience?

Is the information intended to inform, persuade, sell, entertain?

Is this a first-hand account of an event or research?

Does the author have a vested interest in the topic?