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CRAAP Test Guide: Assessing Source Reliability & Value [2025]

Jul 5, 2024 | 0 comments

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Jul 5, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

In today’s digital age, where misinformation and fake news are rampant, it is more important than ever to assess the reliability and value of the sources we use for research and education.

This is where the CRAAP Test comes in. The CRAAP test is a valuable tool for evaluating the reliability and credibility of sources in your research. It’s an acronym that stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. This test was developed by librarians at California State University to help students and educators determine if a source is trustworthy and suitable for academic research.
As students and researchers, understanding the importance of source criticism and fact-checking is crucial in ensuring the accuracy and precision of our work. 

Through library instruction and research guides, institutions like Central Michigan University are working to promote information literacy and educate individuals on how to identify and combat misinformation. 
In this article, we will explore the significance of the CRAAP Test in education and research, and how it can help individuals navigate the vast sea of information available to us.

 Let’s break down each component to understand how to use the CRAAP test effectively.


The timeliness of the information is crucial. Ask yourself:

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has it been updated or revised?
  • Does your topic require current information, or are older sources acceptable?
  • Are the links functional?
  • Does the website’s copyright date match the content’s currency?

Read Also: SIFT Method: Master Guide to Detecting Misinformation and Evaluating Resources


The importance of the information for your needs is vital. Consider:

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your research question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before deciding to use this one?


The source of the information matters. Evaluate:

  • Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
  • What are the author’s credentials, qualifications, or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information provided, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?


The reliability and correctness of the content are essential. Ask yourself:

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify the information from another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Is the language unbiased and free from emotion, spelling errors, or grammatical mistakes?


The reason the information exists is key. Consider:

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Is the point of view objective and impartial, or are there biases present?

Applying the CRAAP Test

When evaluating sources, the CRAAP test provides a checklist of questions to ensure the information you use is reliable and credible. It’s a first-line examination of a website or source, also known as vertical reading. To take your research further, you can also employ the lateral reading method, which involves verifying the information on a website with other sources. 

Remember, the CRAAP test is just one method of evaluation, and there are other approaches like RADAR (Relevance, Authority, Date, Appearance, Reason for writing) that you can explore as well. Happy researching!

Evaluating Sources: The CRAAP Test for Website Evaluation

Let’s apply the CRAAP test to the website “The Nutrition Source“, which appears to be a professional health organization’s website.


The website seems not to be regularly updated, but there is no apparent copyright date. This may be a red flag, as it’s essential to know when the information was last verified.


The content appears to be written for potential patients and other health professionals. The language and terminology are appropriate for the intended audience.


The website claims to be affiliated with a medical school, but a Google search reveals that this medical school doesn’t exist. The only contact information is an address that can’t be found on Google Maps and an online form without a specified recipient. This lack of transparency is concerning.


The website appears unbiased and well-written, with no obvious spelling or grammar errors. However, no references or links to credible sources are provided to support the information. Many of the links within the website are also non-functional.


The website’s purpose seems to be to highlight its so-called medical breakthroughs and research. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the site is an entertaining hoax. The content is not supported by any credible evidence or references.


Based on the CRAAP test evaluation, “The Nutrition Source” is not a valid website for scholarly research. While it may appear professional at first glance, the lack of credible sources, non-functional links, and questionable authority make it an unreliable source of information.

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