Is this information CR…? Try the CRAAP-test!
The CRAAP Test is a helpful method that assists you in managing information overload and in evaluating the credibility and reliability of information sources.
CRAAP stands for the five quality criteria Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose, which you can use to assess the quality of a source.
Currency – the timeliness of the information. Check when the source was published to ensure the information is up-to-date. Depending on the topic, it may be crucial that it is current. For online sources, you should also verify if all links are functional.
Relevance – the importance of the information for your specific needs.
Check if the source provides what you need thematically, linguistically, and in terms of quality to answer a research question or solve a problem.
Authority – the source of the information.
It’s important to know who is providing the information and what qualifications or expertise this person or organization possesses. A trustworthy source should come from experts or recognized institutions.
Accuracy – the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
It is important to check the accuracy of the information and ensure that it can be supported by other reliable sources. The absence of citations or the presence of obvious errors or contradictions can indicate a lack of academic quality.
Purpose – the reason the information exists.
It is important to understand why and for whom the information was created and whether there may be a specific agenda involved. Examine whether the information is presented objectively, neutrally, and without bias, or if there are discernible political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases.
Of course, it’s possible that not all five criteria of the test are equally important or relevant in every situation or for every task. However, they serve as a good starting point and provide you with a practical framework to as, “Is this information CRAAP?”
You can find more in-depth information on how to assess the quality of your sources on the page Quality criteria of academic sources.
Blakeslee, Sarah (2004) “The CRAAP Test,” LOEX Quarterly: Vol. 31: No. 3, Article 4.
Available at: https://commons.emich.edu/loexquarterly/vol31/iss3/4
Meriam Library, California State University, Chico (2010) “Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test”.
Available at: https://library.csuchico.edu/sites/default/files/craap-test.pdf