How to Evaluate Internet Resources
With the expansion of the Internet, we are seeing a massive influx of digital texts and sources that have to be carefully evaluated for their usefulness in the academic world. Much of what is found on the Internet has low or no quality standards for publication. Anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can publish a Web site or electronic document. Therefore, students need to evaluate information found on the Internet using the CRAAP Test.
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
- When was the information published or posted?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Does your topic require current information, or will older source work as well?
- Are the links functional?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your questions?
Who is the intended audience?
Is the information at an appropriate level?
How well is the information covered?
Does the content have unique value?
Are there credible supporting links or sources cited?
Authority: The source of the information.
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
- Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
- Does the domain reveal if it is a university, business, organization, or an individual?
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
- Where does the information come from?
- Is the information supported by evidence?
- Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
- Can you verify the information in another source?
- Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
- Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
- Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?