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Acronyms for Evaluating Information: Home

#EvlauatingSources #InformationLiteracy


Every day, it seems more and more challenging to determine the reliability of the information we encounter. Information experts such as librarians, journalists, and researchers have developed sets of criteria with easy-to-remember acronyms to help us evaluate sources and avoid misinformation and disinformation. None are perfect, but the descriptions below can help you decide which set of criteria is best suited to your needs. Click the acronym to see a more detailed explanation. For more tools and advice for evaluating information, visit Fake News (and how to fight it).


  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose


  • Rationale
  • Authority
  • Date
  • Accuracy
  • Relevance
CRAAP and RADAR are best applied to a vetted source, like an article found in a library database. You already know the source is legit, but is it really the best choice for your research assignment?


  • Stop
  • Investigate the source
  • Find better coverage
  • Trace the original context

Research scientist Mike Caulfield is critical of checklists like CRAAP and RADAR and advises us to take a more active approach to evaluating information. SIFT combines a streamlined list of things to look for with a practical list of things to do.


  • Source
  • History
  • Evidence
  • Emotion
  • Pictures
The news verification experts at advise us to “Think SHEEP” to avoid misinformation and disinformation when browsing social media.


  • Author
  • Currency
  • Truth
  • Unbiased
  • Privilege
Librarian Dawn Stahura urges us to consider social justice when evaluating sources. Her ACT UP checklist addresses issues such as privilege in academic publishing and the consequences of sharing unverified information.


  • Credibility
  • Accuracy
  • Reasonableness
  • Support


  • Challenge
  • Adapt
  • File
  • Evaluate
Writer and educator Robert Harris combines the checklist approach (CARS) with some behavioral advice for “living well in the world of information” (CAFÉ).


  • Reliability
  • Objective
  • Bias
  • Ownership
  • Type


  • Purpose
  • Ownership
  • Transparency
  • Accuracy
  • Transhumanism
  • Operability
Use the ROBOT test to evaluate information (such as news articles) about artificial intelligence tools. Use the POTATO test to evaluate tools that use generative AI.


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This page was created and is maintained by
Jenny Saxton.
Questions and comments are welcome.