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SCORE: Evaluate Your Sources
SCORE Assessment video
Use these criteria to evaluate sources to determine if they are appropriate for college-level research.
SCORE Rating System
SCORE Rating Guide
This is a .pdf document of the SCORE rating system. I suggest you print or download it and keep it handy!
Who is the intended audience? Is this a scholarly professional publication? Or popular literature, intended for the general public? Or a source that was never published, and is just "out there"
Is the information still considered valid? Or is it dated?
Is this a primary source, such as a report from a research study by the authors? Is it a secondary source which interprets, analyzes or evaluates a primary source? Is it a tertiary source, in which the source summarizes or provides commentary on another source? Is it simply opinion?
What is the author's goal of the article / book / website?
What qualifications does the author have? Why does this author have credibility? Is the author trustworthy?
Evaluating Information: Using the 5 W's
The 5 W's
||What is the document? Is it fact or opinion? What type of source is it from (book, magazine, journal, website,etc.)
Who wrote the document? What do you know about the author?
||Why did the author write this? What was the author's goal?
||When was the document published? What was happening in the world?
||Where was the document published? What do you know about the quality of the publisher?
How did the author gather data? How did the author present information?
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- Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?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