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Smarter Searching: Going Beyond Google

Techniques for efficiently searching, identifying, and evaluating scholarly information.

Does it pass the CRAAP Test?

Evaluating information, whether online or in print, is an essential step in the research process. The following criteria and questions -- known as the CRAAP Test* -- are useful to evaluating websites and other information sources.

Currency When was this book or article published, or when was the web page created or last updated? Do you need more current information? Do links on the site still connect to their destination?
Relevance Is this source pertinent to your research topic? How can you use this information in your research? Could you provide a citation to this source in your research?
Accuracy Does the information presented seem accurate? Are the facts verifiable from other sources? Does the author list his or her sources?
Authority Who is the author? What expertise does he or she have on this topic? Who sponsors the publication or website? Checking the website address may indicate who sponsors that website.
.com
.net
Websites belonging to a commercial entity, a non-profit organization, or an individual.
.edu Websites belonging to colleges or universities, or faculty researchers or students at that institution.
.gov Websites belonging to federal, state or municipal government agencies.
.org Websites may belong to a non-profit organization, but not always.
Purpose Who is the intended audience? What is the stated purpose of the publication or website? What position or opinion is presented, and is it presented objectively or with a bias or agenda? For websites, check the "About..." link if there is one. What other websites does this one link to?

 

* The CRAAP acronym and descriptions are from Meriam Library at California State University Chico. CRAAP Test from the Meriam Library website.

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