The CRAAPP Test helps you investigate the quality of the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on what you need to do with the information.
Currency: The chronological relationship between the source’s date and my research need.
- When was the information created, published, and/or last updated?
- To what extent is my topic in an area that changes rapidly, like technology or popular culture?
- Does my research need require current information or will older sources work as well?
Relevance: The extent to which this source meets my research needs.
- Does the source meet the stated requirements of my assignment?
- Does the source contribute to my research needs or answer my research question?
- Who is the intended audience of this source?
- Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for my needs)?
- Is the information from this source complete? Would looking at a mix of other sources improve my
- understanding of the information's relevance?
- How does using this source help me understand the larger conversation around this research question/need?
Authority: The author or creator of the information.
- Who is the creator/author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations? (might have to search more to find this)
- How is the author’s expertise and credibility related to this topic/issue?
- What type of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g. scholarship), social position (e.g. public office or title), or special experience (e.g. participating in a historic event) does the author have?
- Is there an easy way to contact the author if I have questions?
- What questions/doubts remain about the authority?
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.
- Was the information reviewed by others (editors or subject experts) before it was published?
- What citations or references support the author’s claims?
- Can I verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
- Does the author omit important facts or data or references that might disprove a claim?
- Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors? How does this influence my perception of accuracy?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
- Is the purpose of the information to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
- Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
- Whose voice is not being heard?
- Does the author’s purpose match my purpose for using this information?
Process: The effort and steps behind the creation and delivery of information.
- How much reflection, research, or revising do I think went into the process of creating the information? How does this influence my perception of the information?
- How does the author’s choice in sharing the information (e.g. tweet, blog posting, YouTube video, press release, report, newspaper editorial, magazine article, book, scholarly journal article) match the author’s purpose?