Skip to main content
× The library is open to the public beginning June 15th. Learn more about changes in services due to social distancing at

Transfer Students: Evaluate

This guide will help you transition from your previous library to ECU's Linscheid Library

Evaluating Your Sources


This page will help you evaluate the information sources you have found.

Evaluating can involve examining:

  • Currency,
  • Relevance,
  • Authority,
  • Accuracy, and
  • Purpose.

Evaluate Websites

WebsitesIt is extremely easy for anyone to post whatever they want on the Web. Check out the links below for more ways to ensure that your Web sources are appropriate for your research.

Click to watch Evaluating Internet Sources

The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a way to evaluate any information source which you are considering referencing.The CRAAP Test consists of 5 basic evaluation criteria: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.

 Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • When was the information last revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date with regard to your topic?
  • If you found the information on the web, are the links functional?

 Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Is the breadth and depth of the information appropriate for your needs?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced) for your needs?
  • Could you find the same or better information in another source (for example, a general encyclopedia)?

 Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Google the author, organization, or sponsor. What information do you find?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given? If so, what are they?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is contact information provided, such as a publisher or email address?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information by looking in another source or using personal knowledge?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions, purpose, and any possible biases clear?
  • Is any advertising content easily distinguishable from the informational content?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • If you found the information on the web, what does the URL reveal about the author or source? For example, .com indicates a commercial site, .edu indicates an educational site, .gov indicates a government site, and .org indicates a non-profit site.


View the section on "Evaluating" in the University of Wyoming's Tutorial for Info Power for help on applying the CRAAP Test to your sources.

This content was adapted with permission from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Lloyd Sealy Library's Evaluating Information guide.

Evaluating Books


Check out the link below for more ways to ensure that your book sources are appropriate for your research.

Click to watch Evaluating Books