How do I know if a source is credible?

Answer

It is important to evaluate your sources.

Sources are any resource containing information. Credible sources are sources that are trustworthy.

The CRAAP Test is one way to help you determine the credibility of a source of information.


The CRAAP Test

Currency: When is the information from?

  • When was the information published, posted, or last updated?
  • Is the information current for your topic and field of study?

Relevance: Is this information appropriate for your needs?

  • Is it suitable for your purpose or assignment/project?
  • Is there not enough, or too much, detail for your purpose?

Authority: Who created this content?

  • Who is the author? Why is the author (or authors) qualified to write on the topic?
  • Who published, posted, or communicated the information? What are their qualifications?

Accuracy: Does it seem right?

  • Have the author's sources been given so that you can easily find or verify them?
  • ​Are there spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?

Purpose: For what reason does the information exist?

  • Why was this information created? Who is the audience?
  • Does the point of view appear objective, balanced, and unbiased? Are alternative points of view considered?

Adapted from: Evaluating Information: The CRAAP Test (2009) by University of the Fraser Valley.


Tip: Depending on your subject area, some criteria may be more or less important. If you are not sure about the expectations for your assignment, ask your instructor.

 

Tip: Ask your instructor first before referencing Wikipedia in academic assignments. Use Wikipedia to:

  • Get a general sense of a topic or concept
  • Explore sources/ideas for further research (look at the references and links provided)

If you need an academic source for background information, try Credo Reference.

  • Last Updated Jan 07, 2022
  • Views 74
  • Answered By RDP Library

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