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COM 103 Littleton: Evaluating Credibility


Some specific requirements of your course:

  • Minimum of 3 sources.
  • Must be from library databases, books, magazines or or .edu web site
  • No blogs or other "website only" sources, e.g. CNN.

Finding Only .gov OR .edu Sites

To limit Google searches to a particular domain, such as .gov OR .edu

  • enter your search terms in the Google search box, then add the specific domain.
  • For example, "right to die"  

This tip wil also work for .org, .com, etc but FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ASSIGNMENT you only want .gov OR .edu

Jane Says: CRAAP Test


The CRAAP Test* is a useful guide to evaluating information found online or elsewhere. CRAAP is an acronym for the general categories of criteria that can be used to evaluate information. 

Currency: The timeliness of the information. 

  • When was the information published or posted? 
  • Has the information been revised or updated?  
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional? 

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. 

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? 
  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given? 
  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic? 
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address? 
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com  .edu  .gov  .org  .net 

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content. 

  • Where does the information come from? 
  • Is the information supported by evidence?  
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed? 
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge? 
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?  
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors? 

Purpose: The reason the information exists. 

  • What is the purpose of the information?  to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade? 
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear? 
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda? 
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? 
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases? 

*The CRAAP acronym and descriptions are from Meriam Library at California State University Chico.

CRAAP Test from the Meriam Library website.

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