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Database Search Tips: Evaluating
Websites

Tips for Evaluating Websites

Currency     Relevancy     Authority     Accuracy     Purpose

Librarians recommend that students use the databases listed on the library’s website to search for information. 

However, many students Google their topics and use information found on websites for their research papers.   Often, these sites contain old or inaccurate information.  So, how can a student decide what is a good website?  They can use the "CRAAP" Test!

Using the "CRAAP" Test

Use the "CRAAP" Test criteria to evaluate the information that you find in print and on websites!  If the information doesn't pass the test, you probably should not use it as a source.

Currency

  • When was it published/posted or last updated?
  • Do you need current information, or are older sources acceptable?

Relevance

  • Does it relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level?  Too advanced?  Too easy?

Authority

  • Who is the author, publisher, source, or sponsor?
  • What are their credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

Accuracy

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has it been reviewed or refereed?

Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial, free of emotion, and unbiased? 

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