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Evaluating Sources: C.R.A.P. Test

How to determine which sources to use for accurate, professor-approved information.

What the C.R.A.P.?

The C.R.A.P. Test* is a way to evaluate sources in four main categories:

Currency

Is the resource from an appropriate time?

• When was it originally published?
• Has it been updated or revised since then?
• Does the time frame fit your needs?

Reliability

Can you depend on the information and trust it to be accurate?

• Did the author use any evidence, and show their sources with citations and references, or list of sources?
• Is the spelling and grammar correct?
• Can you verify the information through other sources?

Authority

Can you trust the source the information comes from?

• Who is the author, and what are their credentials?
• Who is the publisher or sponsor?
• What does the URL end with? (.gov, .org, .edu, .com?)

Purpose/Point of View

What is the author's motivation for publishing the resource?

• Is the author trying to inform, persuade, sell to, or entertain you?
• Are there advertisements or links to buy things? If so, are they marked clearly or sponsored by the resource?
• Does the author seem objective or biased? Do they name any affiliations or conflicts of interest?


* The C.R.A.P. Test was created by librarian Molly Beestrum at Dominican University and adapted by the LOEX wiki.

C.R.A.P. Test Sheets and Scores

Evaluating Resources with C.R.A.P. Tutorial

The C.R.A.P. Test in Action: Articles

The C.R.A.P. Test in Action: Websites

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