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Search Tips & Tutorials: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Health Info on the Web

See Also - for Critical Appraisal

If you want to go even deeper, there are many evidence-based practice checklists out there to help evaluate the clinical literature.

Evaluate Your Sources with the CRAAP Test

Is your information reliable and accurate?  Apply the C.R.A.A.P. 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  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
  • If the source is a webpage are the links functional?

Relevance - The usefulness 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?
  • Can it help you find other information related to your topic?
  • 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 qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • If the source is a webpage does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

Accuracy - The correctness and reliability of the information

  • 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 unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose - The reason for the information

  • Is the author free from a conflict of interest that would bias what she or he has to say? (i.e. they work for the company on which they are reporting; they have stock in the product they are testing, etc.)
  • 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?

*Modified version of CRAAP Test created by Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.

Need Assistance? We are happy to help! Please contact Your Librarian :

Michele Matucheski, MLIS, AHIP
Medical Librarian - Ascension Wisconsin
Phone  (920) 223-0340

Available Monday - Friday