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Research Help Guide: Evaluate your Sources

Evaluating your Sources (Video)

From the University of Western Ontario Libraries (Closed Captioned)

The CRAAP Test (Infographic)

Types of Sources (Infographic)

Getting Research Help

Book an Appointment

Get lengthier and more specialized research help with our book an appointment service.

Visit our Research Help Desk

Visit the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Library for help.

Research and Citation Help

Learn how to conduct research and cite your sources with these helpful guides and videos

Attend a Workshop

Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.

 

Evaluate your Sources with the CRAAP Test

For your assignments, you should typically consult and cite a mix of sources like books and journal articles. You can start by looking at the requirements of the assignment to see if you require a certain number sources or a specific type of source.

 

Choosing appropriate sources is important. You will have to critically evaluate all your sources. One way to evaluate sources is through the CRAAP test.

 

The CRAAP Test Poo Emoji

 

Currency:

  • How current is the resource?
  • When was the resource published or posted?
  • Is this the most current version of this information available?
  • Has the information been revised / updated? Is there proof of last update, publication date?
  • Is currency of information a concern for your topic?

 

Relevance:

  • Does the resource meet your needs?
  • Is the information related to your topic?
  • Does it support your viewpoint or provide an alternate one?
  • Is the information and discussion at an appropriate level? Who is the intended audience (general population, scholars, practitioners etc.)?

 

Accuracy:

  • Is the information in the resource reliable?
  • Are the author’s claims supported by evidence?
  • Has the content been reviewed by other experts? Is it a peer-reviewed resource?
  • Are the language and tone biased?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

 

Authority:

  • Who wrote/produced/published the resource?
  • Is the source published by an academic publisher or a reputable organization?
  • Is an author clearly identified? What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Degrees, professional designations, professional accomplishments and experience are indicators of qualifications.
  • If it is a website, does the url reveal anything about the source (.com, .gov, .edu, .org)

 

Purpose:

  • Why does this resource exist?
  • What is the purpose? Is it to teach, sell, promote, entertain?
  • Do the author(s) make their intentions clear? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, or personal biases?
  • Is the information provided by the resource fact, opinion?
  • Does it have a variety of viewpoints and arguments? Do your sources reflect different genders, ages, ethnic groups, languages, nationalities, disciplines, etc

Hierarchy of Credible Sources (Infographic)