Evaluating Information – Applying The CRAAP Test
When you do research, you're going to find lots of information from a vast array of sources . . . but how do you know what's good to use and trust or is suitable for your need? You'll have to determine that for yourself, and The CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate a source or information against five different criteria. Of course, some criterion will be more or less important depending on what you're researching and the context of your need.
It's also important that you evaluate a source by looking beyond it to learn what others have said about it and to compare the source and verify the information it presents with other sources for your research topic or question. This is called lateral searching (see the SIFT method below to learn more) and it's what professional fact-checkers do.
Consider the . . .
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the information.
Purpose: The reason the information exists.