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FOX BIO280 - Human Anatomy: Evaluating Sources

Evaluation Questions to Ask

Who?

  • Who created this? What are their qualifications/background?
  • Were there other people that helped to create this? Editors, producers, song writers, etc. 

What?

  • What did you find? Book, article, website, statistic, photo, song, etc.
  • Is this a type of source that you can use for your assignment?

When?

  • When was this published?
  • Does the source need to be published recently? Historically?
  • What is the timeframe covered by the source?

Where?

  • Where did you find this? Library, Internet, etc. 
  • Where was it published? Journal, Book, Magazine, Website, etc. 

Why?

  • Why was this source created? What is the purpose?
  • Why is this source useful for your research?
  • Why does this source fulfill your assignment requirements?

CRAAP Test

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    •  Examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content, and

  • 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 in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • 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 or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Note: the CRAAP test was developed by librarians at CSU Chico