F&M College Library

CNX 240:The Whale

The CRAAP Test

Once you have found a full source (online or print), use the CRAAP Test to determine if you should use it.

Currency   

When was the information published or updated? Are the references to other sources up to date? Does currency matter for your topic?


Relevance/Coverage  

Is this source relevant to your research question? Does the source meet the requirements of the assignment? Is the information too technical or too simple? Who is the intended audience? Does it add to your knowledge of the topic?


Authority

Who is the author? Is the author part of an educational institution or an organization? Can you find information about the author on the internet or with other resources? How often is this author cited? The author may be an individual or an organization.


Accuracy 

Is this information correct and reliable? Are there spelling or grammar errors? Was the information reviewed or edited before it was published? What are other authors writing about the topic?


Purpose/Objectivity 

What is the purpose of the information? Is it designed to sway your opinion? Does it project a bias? Are there other points of view presented?

The CRAAP test was creatd by California State University, Chico

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly materials are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars using scholarly or technical language, include full citations for sources. Scholarly items are often refereed or peer reviewed. Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly articles, even when found in scholarly journals.

Popular materials are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience using language easily understood by general readers. Popular items rarely give full citations for sources, are written for the general public, and tend to be shorter than scholarly materials.