What Are The Criteria For The CRAAP Test & How To Use One?

What Are The Criteria For The CRAAP Test & How To Use One?

What Are The Criteria For The CRAAP Test & How To Use One?

Declan Gessel

May 14, 2024

May 14, 2024

student applying for craap test
student applying for craap test
student applying for craap test

Whether you are an experienced academic or a novice writer, mastering the 'CRAAP Test' can significantly improve your essays. Understanding how to evaluate sources for credibility, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose will help you sift through the abundance of information available online. With this guide, you'll be better prepared to craft compelling, well-researched essays in no time. So, let's delve into 'How To Write An Essay' using the CRAAP Test!

Table of Contents

What Is The CRAAP Test?


person exploring craap test

The internet provides a vast library of information at our immediate disposal. With this abundance comes the crucial task of verifying the credibility of the information we encounter. Relying on inaccurate or outdated sources can lead to costly mistakes, especially in the realm of business decision-making. The CRAAP Test serves as a valuable tool to navigate this information landscape. This framework equips you with the criteria to assess online sources and ensure they are reliable, accurate, and relevant to your specific needs.

The origin of the CRAAP test can be traced back to librarian Sarah Blakeslee at California State University, Chico. 

Evaluating Information Credibility Before Relying on It

It is all too easy to accept information at face value when it appears on the internet.Not everything you read is accurate or reliable, especially when it comes to data needed for research or informed decision-making. It is crucial to evaluate information for its credibility before relying on it. It is essential for everyone, including students and researchers, to assess the reliability, authority, and relevance of the sources they use to ensure the information they are getting is accurate, trustworthy, and appropriately suited for their needs. Reliable and credible information helps you make informed decisions and form a well-rounded understanding of a subject.

The CRAAP Test as a Valuable Tool for Source Evaluation

Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose are crucial criteria to consider when evaluating the credibility of a source. Applying the CRAAP framework helps individuals determine if the information is current, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and aligns with their research intent. Validating these aspects is essential to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of the source. Each of these components plays a vital part in determining the credibility of a source and its suitability for use.

CRAAP Test: How to Assess Online Sources

Currency

Ensuring the information is up-to-date for the topic at hand is crucial as outdated information might not be relevant or accurate.

Relevance

Determining if the information directly addresses your research needs is essential to avoid wasting time on irrelevant data.

Authority

Considering who the source is and if they are credible experts in the field is vital to ensure the authenticity and reliability of the information provided.

Accuracy

Checking the reliability and verifiability of the information, along with the presence of citations or references, is essential to determine the accuracy of the data presented.

Purpose

Understanding the author's intent behind creating the information is necessary to assess if it aligns with your research needs or if it is biased in any way.

The Role of the CRAAP Test in Information Literacy

The CRAAP Test is a vital tool for information literacy, especially for students and researchers. It equips users with the skills needed to assess the credibility and relevance of sources, leading to well-informed decisions and thorough research outcomes. By using the CRAAP Test, individuals can avoid relying on misleading or inaccurate information and develop a critical approach to evaluating sources. This framework instills a sense of responsibility and discernment in users, promoting a more informed and educated society.

Related Reading

how to know if an article is peer reviewed
semantic scholar
what are scholarly sources
credible sources for research
how to use google scholar
craap method
evaluating sources
• 10 examples of reliable sources
• academic search engines

Understanding The CRAAP Criteria:


person understanding craap test

The CRAAP Test equips you with a set of clear criteria for evaluating online sources. Each letter of the acronym represents a key factor to consider when assessing the credibility and usefulness of information. Let's break down each element and understand its role in effective research

Currency

Currency refers to the timeliness of the information. Especially in fast-moving fields, outdated information can be misleading or even harmful.

  • Check the publication date of the content.

  • Consider the topic itself to determine how recent the information needs to be.

  • Look for signs of updates or revisions to ensure the information is current.

  • For example, a blog post about a new software program may be outdated if it hasn't been updated since the program's launch several years ago.

Relevance

Relevance addresses how closely the information pertains to your specific research needs. A source, no matter how credible, is irrelevant if it doesn't suit your research question or topic.

  • Define your research needs before searching.

  • Evaluate the focus and scope of the information source.

  • Identify keywords and thematic content that align with your research

  • For example, a website about the history of chocolate may not be relevant for researching the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Authority

Authority refers to the credibility of the source and author's expertise. Information from a reputable source with a qualified author is more trustworthy than information from an unknown or unverified source.

  • Identify the author and research their credentials.

  • Evaluate the source itself to determine its reputation.

  • Be cautious with anonymous sources or websites with unclear ownership.

  • For example, a medical research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal holds more authority than a blog post by someone unqualified.

Accuracy

Accuracy relates to the truthfulness and correctness of the information. Accurate information is crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Look for evidence supporting the claims in the source.

  • Check for factual errors or inconsistencies.

  • Compare the information with other reputable sources.

  • Be cautious of sensational or biased information.

  • For example, a news article with factual errors and no citations is less accurate than an article with verifiable sources.

Purpose & Point of View

Purpose & Point of View regards the author's intent and any biases present in the information. Understanding the author's purpose and biases helps in critically evaluating the information.

  • Consider the website's domain and typical content.

  • Identify the author's affiliation.

  • Look out for disclaimers or statements about the website's bias.

  • Evaluate the language used in the source.

  • For example, a product-promoting website will have a biased perspective compared to a neutral government website.

Enhance Your Writing Workflow with Jotbot's AI-Powered Tools

Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays, and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot. 

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

Applying the CRAAP Test in Action--A Step-By-Step Guide


students taking guidance on craap test

The importance of evaluating online sources cannot be overstated. The internet is a vast repository of information, but not all information is created equal. Misinformation and biased content can easily mislead researchers. It is critical to assess sources based on their credibility, usefulness, and relevance. 

This is where the CRAAP test comes in handy. By examining the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose of the source, one can determine whether or not the information is reliable and trustworthy. Let's evaluate a real-world online source using the CRAAP criteria to showcase its practical application.

Applying the CRAAP Test to Real-world Online Sources

In this case, let's consider an article titled "The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Management" on a popular health and wellness website. 

Currency

The article was published in 2021, making it relatively up-to-date for the topic of stress management.

Relevance

The article directly addresses the benefits of meditation for stress management, which is relevant to those seeking information on this topic.

Authority

The author, a licensed psychologist specializing in stress management, is a credible expert in the field.

Accuracy

The information is supported by scientific studies and references reputable sources in the field of psychology.

Purpose & Point of View

The article aims to inform readers about the benefits of meditation objectively, with no apparent bias.

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the benefits of meditation for stress management is a credible and reliable source of information. It is current, relevant, authored by an expert, supported by evidence, and presents information objectively.

Contrasting Example: The Dangers of Fad Diets

Now, let's apply the CRAAP criteria to another online article titled "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days with the XYZ Diet Plan."

Currency

The article was published in 2018, making it outdated for the topic of diet and weight loss.

Relevance

While the topic is broadly related to dieting, the extreme and unrealistic claims do not directly address a specific research question.

Authority

The author is a self-proclaimed nutritionist but lacks credentials or verifiable expertise in the field.

Accuracy

The claims made in the article lack scientific evidence and cite no research to back them up.

Purpose & Point of View

The article's intent is to sell a particular diet plan, presenting information with a clear bias towards promoting the product

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the XYZ Diet Plan is not a credible or reliable source of information. It falls short in terms of currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

The Importance of Using the CRAAP Test

Evaluating sources using the CRAAP test is a critical skill in today's digital age. It helps researchers sift through information overload, discern credible sources from misinformation, and make informed decisions. I encourage you to actively apply the CRAAP criteria to your own research needs to ensure you're accessing accurate and trustworthy information.

How To Pass The Craap Test With A Good Craap Score


woman trying to pass craap test

The CRAAP Test isn't designed for a single score but rather a nuanced evaluation. Each criterion contributes to the overall credibility of a source. Here’s a breakdown of how to pass the CRAAP Test with a good score

Currency

To evaluate the currency of a source, consider when the information was published and if there are more recent updates available. This is particularly crucial for rapidly changing topics.

Relevance

Relevance refers to how well the source aligns with your research needs. It’s essential to ensure that the information presented is directly related to your research topic.

Authority

Check for the author’s credentials and expertise in the field. Consider the platform or organization hosting the content to assess its authority.

Accuracy

Examine the information provided for accuracy and verify it through multiple sources. Look for citations and references to back up the claims made in the source.

Purpose

Investigate the purpose of the source. Determine if the author has any biases or if the content serves a clear and objective purpose in presenting information.

Interpreting the Results of Your CRAAP Test Analysis
After conducting the CRAAP Test on a source, categorize it based on its performance:

Strong Source

A strong source performs well on all CRAAP criteria. It is up-to-date, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and has a clear and objective purpose.

Needs Improvement

A source that needs improvement may have weaknesses in one or two areas. While it might be slightly outdated or lack a clear author, it comes from a reputable website. Use these sources cautiously and supplement with additional resources.

Unreliable Source

A source that scores poorly on multiple CRAAP criteria should be avoided. It may contain outdated or irrelevant information, lack a clear author, present factual errors, or have a strong bias.

Evaluating a Good CRAAP Score

After scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10, consider the following quality breakdown:

45-50: Excellent
40-44: Good
35-39: Average
30-34: Borderline Acceptable
Below 30: Unacceptable

Encourage the reader to consider the weight of each criterion based on the specific research topic. For example, currency might be more critical for fast-changing fields like technology, while historical topics may allow for slightly older sources.

Related Reading

• Synthesis Essay
• Descriptive Essay
• Write Me A Paragraph
• How To Write A Narrative Essay
• How To Write An Analytical Essay
• Words To Start A Paragraph
• Types Of Essays
• How To Start Off An Essay
• Essay Structure
• How To Write A Synthesis Essay

Write Smarter With Jotbot — Start Writing for Free Today

Jotbot is an AI writing assistant that can help you with numerous tasks related to writing. From note-taking to video summarizing and even sourcing citations, Jotbot can be a valuable tool for anyone who needs to write essays. It can even generate essay outlines and whole essays for you. With Jotbot, you can elevate the quality of your writing and save time. 

Write smarter, not harder, with Jotbot by your side. Join over 500,000 writers, students, teams, and researchers worldwide who are leveraging Jotbot to write more effectively and efficiently. 

Start using Jotbot for free today by signing in with your Google account.

Related Reading

• First Person Essay
• How To Write A Personal Essay
• What Makes A Good Thesis Statement
• Formula For A Thesis Statement
• Essay Writing Tools
• Critical Analysis Essay
• How To Write An Outline For An Essay
• How To Write A 5 Paragraph Essay
• How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay
• How To Write A Header For An Essay
• Memoir Essay
• Chat Gpt Essay Writer

Whether you are an experienced academic or a novice writer, mastering the 'CRAAP Test' can significantly improve your essays. Understanding how to evaluate sources for credibility, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose will help you sift through the abundance of information available online. With this guide, you'll be better prepared to craft compelling, well-researched essays in no time. So, let's delve into 'How To Write An Essay' using the CRAAP Test!

Table of Contents

What Is The CRAAP Test?


person exploring craap test

The internet provides a vast library of information at our immediate disposal. With this abundance comes the crucial task of verifying the credibility of the information we encounter. Relying on inaccurate or outdated sources can lead to costly mistakes, especially in the realm of business decision-making. The CRAAP Test serves as a valuable tool to navigate this information landscape. This framework equips you with the criteria to assess online sources and ensure they are reliable, accurate, and relevant to your specific needs.

The origin of the CRAAP test can be traced back to librarian Sarah Blakeslee at California State University, Chico. 

Evaluating Information Credibility Before Relying on It

It is all too easy to accept information at face value when it appears on the internet.Not everything you read is accurate or reliable, especially when it comes to data needed for research or informed decision-making. It is crucial to evaluate information for its credibility before relying on it. It is essential for everyone, including students and researchers, to assess the reliability, authority, and relevance of the sources they use to ensure the information they are getting is accurate, trustworthy, and appropriately suited for their needs. Reliable and credible information helps you make informed decisions and form a well-rounded understanding of a subject.

The CRAAP Test as a Valuable Tool for Source Evaluation

Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose are crucial criteria to consider when evaluating the credibility of a source. Applying the CRAAP framework helps individuals determine if the information is current, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and aligns with their research intent. Validating these aspects is essential to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of the source. Each of these components plays a vital part in determining the credibility of a source and its suitability for use.

CRAAP Test: How to Assess Online Sources

Currency

Ensuring the information is up-to-date for the topic at hand is crucial as outdated information might not be relevant or accurate.

Relevance

Determining if the information directly addresses your research needs is essential to avoid wasting time on irrelevant data.

Authority

Considering who the source is and if they are credible experts in the field is vital to ensure the authenticity and reliability of the information provided.

Accuracy

Checking the reliability and verifiability of the information, along with the presence of citations or references, is essential to determine the accuracy of the data presented.

Purpose

Understanding the author's intent behind creating the information is necessary to assess if it aligns with your research needs or if it is biased in any way.

The Role of the CRAAP Test in Information Literacy

The CRAAP Test is a vital tool for information literacy, especially for students and researchers. It equips users with the skills needed to assess the credibility and relevance of sources, leading to well-informed decisions and thorough research outcomes. By using the CRAAP Test, individuals can avoid relying on misleading or inaccurate information and develop a critical approach to evaluating sources. This framework instills a sense of responsibility and discernment in users, promoting a more informed and educated society.

Related Reading

how to know if an article is peer reviewed
semantic scholar
what are scholarly sources
credible sources for research
how to use google scholar
craap method
evaluating sources
• 10 examples of reliable sources
• academic search engines

Understanding The CRAAP Criteria:


person understanding craap test

The CRAAP Test equips you with a set of clear criteria for evaluating online sources. Each letter of the acronym represents a key factor to consider when assessing the credibility and usefulness of information. Let's break down each element and understand its role in effective research

Currency

Currency refers to the timeliness of the information. Especially in fast-moving fields, outdated information can be misleading or even harmful.

  • Check the publication date of the content.

  • Consider the topic itself to determine how recent the information needs to be.

  • Look for signs of updates or revisions to ensure the information is current.

  • For example, a blog post about a new software program may be outdated if it hasn't been updated since the program's launch several years ago.

Relevance

Relevance addresses how closely the information pertains to your specific research needs. A source, no matter how credible, is irrelevant if it doesn't suit your research question or topic.

  • Define your research needs before searching.

  • Evaluate the focus and scope of the information source.

  • Identify keywords and thematic content that align with your research

  • For example, a website about the history of chocolate may not be relevant for researching the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Authority

Authority refers to the credibility of the source and author's expertise. Information from a reputable source with a qualified author is more trustworthy than information from an unknown or unverified source.

  • Identify the author and research their credentials.

  • Evaluate the source itself to determine its reputation.

  • Be cautious with anonymous sources or websites with unclear ownership.

  • For example, a medical research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal holds more authority than a blog post by someone unqualified.

Accuracy

Accuracy relates to the truthfulness and correctness of the information. Accurate information is crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Look for evidence supporting the claims in the source.

  • Check for factual errors or inconsistencies.

  • Compare the information with other reputable sources.

  • Be cautious of sensational or biased information.

  • For example, a news article with factual errors and no citations is less accurate than an article with verifiable sources.

Purpose & Point of View

Purpose & Point of View regards the author's intent and any biases present in the information. Understanding the author's purpose and biases helps in critically evaluating the information.

  • Consider the website's domain and typical content.

  • Identify the author's affiliation.

  • Look out for disclaimers or statements about the website's bias.

  • Evaluate the language used in the source.

  • For example, a product-promoting website will have a biased perspective compared to a neutral government website.

Enhance Your Writing Workflow with Jotbot's AI-Powered Tools

Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays, and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot. 

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

Applying the CRAAP Test in Action--A Step-By-Step Guide


students taking guidance on craap test

The importance of evaluating online sources cannot be overstated. The internet is a vast repository of information, but not all information is created equal. Misinformation and biased content can easily mislead researchers. It is critical to assess sources based on their credibility, usefulness, and relevance. 

This is where the CRAAP test comes in handy. By examining the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose of the source, one can determine whether or not the information is reliable and trustworthy. Let's evaluate a real-world online source using the CRAAP criteria to showcase its practical application.

Applying the CRAAP Test to Real-world Online Sources

In this case, let's consider an article titled "The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Management" on a popular health and wellness website. 

Currency

The article was published in 2021, making it relatively up-to-date for the topic of stress management.

Relevance

The article directly addresses the benefits of meditation for stress management, which is relevant to those seeking information on this topic.

Authority

The author, a licensed psychologist specializing in stress management, is a credible expert in the field.

Accuracy

The information is supported by scientific studies and references reputable sources in the field of psychology.

Purpose & Point of View

The article aims to inform readers about the benefits of meditation objectively, with no apparent bias.

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the benefits of meditation for stress management is a credible and reliable source of information. It is current, relevant, authored by an expert, supported by evidence, and presents information objectively.

Contrasting Example: The Dangers of Fad Diets

Now, let's apply the CRAAP criteria to another online article titled "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days with the XYZ Diet Plan."

Currency

The article was published in 2018, making it outdated for the topic of diet and weight loss.

Relevance

While the topic is broadly related to dieting, the extreme and unrealistic claims do not directly address a specific research question.

Authority

The author is a self-proclaimed nutritionist but lacks credentials or verifiable expertise in the field.

Accuracy

The claims made in the article lack scientific evidence and cite no research to back them up.

Purpose & Point of View

The article's intent is to sell a particular diet plan, presenting information with a clear bias towards promoting the product

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the XYZ Diet Plan is not a credible or reliable source of information. It falls short in terms of currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

The Importance of Using the CRAAP Test

Evaluating sources using the CRAAP test is a critical skill in today's digital age. It helps researchers sift through information overload, discern credible sources from misinformation, and make informed decisions. I encourage you to actively apply the CRAAP criteria to your own research needs to ensure you're accessing accurate and trustworthy information.

How To Pass The Craap Test With A Good Craap Score


woman trying to pass craap test

The CRAAP Test isn't designed for a single score but rather a nuanced evaluation. Each criterion contributes to the overall credibility of a source. Here’s a breakdown of how to pass the CRAAP Test with a good score

Currency

To evaluate the currency of a source, consider when the information was published and if there are more recent updates available. This is particularly crucial for rapidly changing topics.

Relevance

Relevance refers to how well the source aligns with your research needs. It’s essential to ensure that the information presented is directly related to your research topic.

Authority

Check for the author’s credentials and expertise in the field. Consider the platform or organization hosting the content to assess its authority.

Accuracy

Examine the information provided for accuracy and verify it through multiple sources. Look for citations and references to back up the claims made in the source.

Purpose

Investigate the purpose of the source. Determine if the author has any biases or if the content serves a clear and objective purpose in presenting information.

Interpreting the Results of Your CRAAP Test Analysis
After conducting the CRAAP Test on a source, categorize it based on its performance:

Strong Source

A strong source performs well on all CRAAP criteria. It is up-to-date, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and has a clear and objective purpose.

Needs Improvement

A source that needs improvement may have weaknesses in one or two areas. While it might be slightly outdated or lack a clear author, it comes from a reputable website. Use these sources cautiously and supplement with additional resources.

Unreliable Source

A source that scores poorly on multiple CRAAP criteria should be avoided. It may contain outdated or irrelevant information, lack a clear author, present factual errors, or have a strong bias.

Evaluating a Good CRAAP Score

After scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10, consider the following quality breakdown:

45-50: Excellent
40-44: Good
35-39: Average
30-34: Borderline Acceptable
Below 30: Unacceptable

Encourage the reader to consider the weight of each criterion based on the specific research topic. For example, currency might be more critical for fast-changing fields like technology, while historical topics may allow for slightly older sources.

Related Reading

• Synthesis Essay
• Descriptive Essay
• Write Me A Paragraph
• How To Write A Narrative Essay
• How To Write An Analytical Essay
• Words To Start A Paragraph
• Types Of Essays
• How To Start Off An Essay
• Essay Structure
• How To Write A Synthesis Essay

Write Smarter With Jotbot — Start Writing for Free Today

Jotbot is an AI writing assistant that can help you with numerous tasks related to writing. From note-taking to video summarizing and even sourcing citations, Jotbot can be a valuable tool for anyone who needs to write essays. It can even generate essay outlines and whole essays for you. With Jotbot, you can elevate the quality of your writing and save time. 

Write smarter, not harder, with Jotbot by your side. Join over 500,000 writers, students, teams, and researchers worldwide who are leveraging Jotbot to write more effectively and efficiently. 

Start using Jotbot for free today by signing in with your Google account.

Related Reading

• First Person Essay
• How To Write A Personal Essay
• What Makes A Good Thesis Statement
• Formula For A Thesis Statement
• Essay Writing Tools
• Critical Analysis Essay
• How To Write An Outline For An Essay
• How To Write A 5 Paragraph Essay
• How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay
• How To Write A Header For An Essay
• Memoir Essay
• Chat Gpt Essay Writer

Whether you are an experienced academic or a novice writer, mastering the 'CRAAP Test' can significantly improve your essays. Understanding how to evaluate sources for credibility, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose will help you sift through the abundance of information available online. With this guide, you'll be better prepared to craft compelling, well-researched essays in no time. So, let's delve into 'How To Write An Essay' using the CRAAP Test!

Table of Contents

What Is The CRAAP Test?


person exploring craap test

The internet provides a vast library of information at our immediate disposal. With this abundance comes the crucial task of verifying the credibility of the information we encounter. Relying on inaccurate or outdated sources can lead to costly mistakes, especially in the realm of business decision-making. The CRAAP Test serves as a valuable tool to navigate this information landscape. This framework equips you with the criteria to assess online sources and ensure they are reliable, accurate, and relevant to your specific needs.

The origin of the CRAAP test can be traced back to librarian Sarah Blakeslee at California State University, Chico. 

Evaluating Information Credibility Before Relying on It

It is all too easy to accept information at face value when it appears on the internet.Not everything you read is accurate or reliable, especially when it comes to data needed for research or informed decision-making. It is crucial to evaluate information for its credibility before relying on it. It is essential for everyone, including students and researchers, to assess the reliability, authority, and relevance of the sources they use to ensure the information they are getting is accurate, trustworthy, and appropriately suited for their needs. Reliable and credible information helps you make informed decisions and form a well-rounded understanding of a subject.

The CRAAP Test as a Valuable Tool for Source Evaluation

Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose are crucial criteria to consider when evaluating the credibility of a source. Applying the CRAAP framework helps individuals determine if the information is current, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and aligns with their research intent. Validating these aspects is essential to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of the source. Each of these components plays a vital part in determining the credibility of a source and its suitability for use.

CRAAP Test: How to Assess Online Sources

Currency

Ensuring the information is up-to-date for the topic at hand is crucial as outdated information might not be relevant or accurate.

Relevance

Determining if the information directly addresses your research needs is essential to avoid wasting time on irrelevant data.

Authority

Considering who the source is and if they are credible experts in the field is vital to ensure the authenticity and reliability of the information provided.

Accuracy

Checking the reliability and verifiability of the information, along with the presence of citations or references, is essential to determine the accuracy of the data presented.

Purpose

Understanding the author's intent behind creating the information is necessary to assess if it aligns with your research needs or if it is biased in any way.

The Role of the CRAAP Test in Information Literacy

The CRAAP Test is a vital tool for information literacy, especially for students and researchers. It equips users with the skills needed to assess the credibility and relevance of sources, leading to well-informed decisions and thorough research outcomes. By using the CRAAP Test, individuals can avoid relying on misleading or inaccurate information and develop a critical approach to evaluating sources. This framework instills a sense of responsibility and discernment in users, promoting a more informed and educated society.

Related Reading

how to know if an article is peer reviewed
semantic scholar
what are scholarly sources
credible sources for research
how to use google scholar
craap method
evaluating sources
• 10 examples of reliable sources
• academic search engines

Understanding The CRAAP Criteria:


person understanding craap test

The CRAAP Test equips you with a set of clear criteria for evaluating online sources. Each letter of the acronym represents a key factor to consider when assessing the credibility and usefulness of information. Let's break down each element and understand its role in effective research

Currency

Currency refers to the timeliness of the information. Especially in fast-moving fields, outdated information can be misleading or even harmful.

  • Check the publication date of the content.

  • Consider the topic itself to determine how recent the information needs to be.

  • Look for signs of updates or revisions to ensure the information is current.

  • For example, a blog post about a new software program may be outdated if it hasn't been updated since the program's launch several years ago.

Relevance

Relevance addresses how closely the information pertains to your specific research needs. A source, no matter how credible, is irrelevant if it doesn't suit your research question or topic.

  • Define your research needs before searching.

  • Evaluate the focus and scope of the information source.

  • Identify keywords and thematic content that align with your research

  • For example, a website about the history of chocolate may not be relevant for researching the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Authority

Authority refers to the credibility of the source and author's expertise. Information from a reputable source with a qualified author is more trustworthy than information from an unknown or unverified source.

  • Identify the author and research their credentials.

  • Evaluate the source itself to determine its reputation.

  • Be cautious with anonymous sources or websites with unclear ownership.

  • For example, a medical research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal holds more authority than a blog post by someone unqualified.

Accuracy

Accuracy relates to the truthfulness and correctness of the information. Accurate information is crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Look for evidence supporting the claims in the source.

  • Check for factual errors or inconsistencies.

  • Compare the information with other reputable sources.

  • Be cautious of sensational or biased information.

  • For example, a news article with factual errors and no citations is less accurate than an article with verifiable sources.

Purpose & Point of View

Purpose & Point of View regards the author's intent and any biases present in the information. Understanding the author's purpose and biases helps in critically evaluating the information.

  • Consider the website's domain and typical content.

  • Identify the author's affiliation.

  • Look out for disclaimers or statements about the website's bias.

  • Evaluate the language used in the source.

  • For example, a product-promoting website will have a biased perspective compared to a neutral government website.

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Applying the CRAAP Test in Action--A Step-By-Step Guide


students taking guidance on craap test

The importance of evaluating online sources cannot be overstated. The internet is a vast repository of information, but not all information is created equal. Misinformation and biased content can easily mislead researchers. It is critical to assess sources based on their credibility, usefulness, and relevance. 

This is where the CRAAP test comes in handy. By examining the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose of the source, one can determine whether or not the information is reliable and trustworthy. Let's evaluate a real-world online source using the CRAAP criteria to showcase its practical application.

Applying the CRAAP Test to Real-world Online Sources

In this case, let's consider an article titled "The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Management" on a popular health and wellness website. 

Currency

The article was published in 2021, making it relatively up-to-date for the topic of stress management.

Relevance

The article directly addresses the benefits of meditation for stress management, which is relevant to those seeking information on this topic.

Authority

The author, a licensed psychologist specializing in stress management, is a credible expert in the field.

Accuracy

The information is supported by scientific studies and references reputable sources in the field of psychology.

Purpose & Point of View

The article aims to inform readers about the benefits of meditation objectively, with no apparent bias.

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the benefits of meditation for stress management is a credible and reliable source of information. It is current, relevant, authored by an expert, supported by evidence, and presents information objectively.

Contrasting Example: The Dangers of Fad Diets

Now, let's apply the CRAAP criteria to another online article titled "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days with the XYZ Diet Plan."

Currency

The article was published in 2018, making it outdated for the topic of diet and weight loss.

Relevance

While the topic is broadly related to dieting, the extreme and unrealistic claims do not directly address a specific research question.

Authority

The author is a self-proclaimed nutritionist but lacks credentials or verifiable expertise in the field.

Accuracy

The claims made in the article lack scientific evidence and cite no research to back them up.

Purpose & Point of View

The article's intent is to sell a particular diet plan, presenting information with a clear bias towards promoting the product

Summarizing the Evaluation

Based on the CRAAP criteria, the article on the XYZ Diet Plan is not a credible or reliable source of information. It falls short in terms of currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

The Importance of Using the CRAAP Test

Evaluating sources using the CRAAP test is a critical skill in today's digital age. It helps researchers sift through information overload, discern credible sources from misinformation, and make informed decisions. I encourage you to actively apply the CRAAP criteria to your own research needs to ensure you're accessing accurate and trustworthy information.

How To Pass The Craap Test With A Good Craap Score


woman trying to pass craap test

The CRAAP Test isn't designed for a single score but rather a nuanced evaluation. Each criterion contributes to the overall credibility of a source. Here’s a breakdown of how to pass the CRAAP Test with a good score

Currency

To evaluate the currency of a source, consider when the information was published and if there are more recent updates available. This is particularly crucial for rapidly changing topics.

Relevance

Relevance refers to how well the source aligns with your research needs. It’s essential to ensure that the information presented is directly related to your research topic.

Authority

Check for the author’s credentials and expertise in the field. Consider the platform or organization hosting the content to assess its authority.

Accuracy

Examine the information provided for accuracy and verify it through multiple sources. Look for citations and references to back up the claims made in the source.

Purpose

Investigate the purpose of the source. Determine if the author has any biases or if the content serves a clear and objective purpose in presenting information.

Interpreting the Results of Your CRAAP Test Analysis
After conducting the CRAAP Test on a source, categorize it based on its performance:

Strong Source

A strong source performs well on all CRAAP criteria. It is up-to-date, relevant, authoritative, accurate, and has a clear and objective purpose.

Needs Improvement

A source that needs improvement may have weaknesses in one or two areas. While it might be slightly outdated or lack a clear author, it comes from a reputable website. Use these sources cautiously and supplement with additional resources.

Unreliable Source

A source that scores poorly on multiple CRAAP criteria should be avoided. It may contain outdated or irrelevant information, lack a clear author, present factual errors, or have a strong bias.

Evaluating a Good CRAAP Score

After scoring each category on a scale from 1 to 10, consider the following quality breakdown:

45-50: Excellent
40-44: Good
35-39: Average
30-34: Borderline Acceptable
Below 30: Unacceptable

Encourage the reader to consider the weight of each criterion based on the specific research topic. For example, currency might be more critical for fast-changing fields like technology, while historical topics may allow for slightly older sources.

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Once you write with JotBot, you'll never want to write without it.

Trusted by 500,000+ Students

Your documents, supercharged with AI.

Once you write with JotBot, you'll never want to write without it.