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COMM 1101 Workshop Series: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Information: Applying the CRAAP Test

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Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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 that this is the 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 affiliations given?
What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail 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 your own personal knowledge?
Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free from 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?
* Indicates criteria for Web only

Prepared by Kristin Johnson, CalState University, Chico 02/02--Used by Eli M. Oboler Library with permission 

Tools for Verifying

Verify, cross-check, and compare content you see online to avoid spreading "fake news." Here are few basic tools to get you started:

Fact Checkers

Verify Webpage History

Verify Images

Found an image you think may have been manipulated or photo-shopped? Use these tools to check for any digital changes:

Want more tools? Check out the Verification Handbook's List of Tools 

Source: LMU/LA Library:

Evaluating Sources Handouts

COMM 1101: Internet Exercise Worksheet

Peer-Reviewed Article Handout

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