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How Do I...?

A guide to help you get started with library research.

Evaluating Information

Information needs to be evaluated before you use it. Not all information is created equally. Make sure you are using quality resources. This is especially true for websites. Always evaluate information you find on the Internet for reliability.

One way to evaluate information is with the CRAAPP Test.  The CRAAPP Test is a series of questions to ask yourself about the source before you decide how to use it or if you want to use it at all.


C: Currency

  • When was this published?

  • Has it been revised?

  • Can you use older sources or do they need to be within a certain time frame?

R: Relevance

  • Does this information relate to your topic or answer your question?

  • Who is the intended audience?

  • Is this information appropriate for you to be citing in a research paper?

A: Authority

  • Who is the author/source of this information?

  • Is the author qualified to be writing on this topic?

  • If it is a website, what does the URL say about the author/publisher?

A: Accuracy

  • Where does this information come from?

  • Is it supported by evidence? 

  • Has it been reviewed (peer-reviewed)?

  • What type of language is being used?

  • Is it free of errors, free of emotion and is there bias?

P: Purpose

  • What is the intent of this information?

  • Is the point of view objective?

  • Is the information meant to teach, inform, persuade, or entertain?

P: Publication

  • Who published this information? 

  • Is it scholarly?

  • Is it a magazine, blog or social media? 

  • Is it the result of scholarly research but not reviewed (dissertation, government document, gray literature)?



Mattson, J. L., & Oberlies, M. K. (Eds.). (2018). Framing information literacy: Teaching grounded in theory, pedagogy, and practice. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Evaluating Health Information

Millions of consumers get health information from magazines, TV or the Internet. Some of the information is reliable and up to date; some is not. How can you tell the good from the bad?

Resources from the National Library of Medicine on Medline Plus