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Information Literacy Skills for Research (Engineering): Evaluation Criteria


Do you accept all information and use it to support your research?

How do you know if the information source is credible and trustworthy?

Evaluating Information using the CRAAP test

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When you searched for information, you are going to find lots of it ... but is it credible and trustworthy?  The following CRAAP Test can help you to determine that.

Note: The CRAAP Test was developed by the Meriam Library at California State University to help you evaluate the information you find.

Currency: The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for the subject or topic?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • (For web:) Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • How does the source work with other resources you are using?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level? (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)
  • Is the content appropriate for your research topic or assignment?

Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Is the author affiliated with any organization?
  • Is there contact information for author/ publisher/ sponsor?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Can you verify any of the information?
  • Are there grammar, spelling or typographical errors?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach or persuade?
  • Does the author exhibit a particular bias? (Political, ideological, cultural, religious or personal)
  • Is the viewpoint of the author's affiliation/ sponsors reflected in the message or content?