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Ethel K Smith Library

SOC 475: Special Topics in Sociology : Evaluating Sources



Evaluate sources with the CRAAP Test

       C - Currency, or the timeliness of the information

       R - Relevance, or the fit of the information

       A - Authority, or the source of the information

       A - Accuracy, or the correctness of the information

       P - Purpose, or the reason for the information


Questions to consider as you evaluate your source:


  1. Does my research topid require up-to-date information? How current must it be?
  2. Has this source been updated since initial publication?
  3. Could I find other sources of similar quality with more current information?


  1. Is this information detailed enough for my research topic?
  2. If this information technical enough for my research topic?
  3. What role will this information play in answering my research question?


  1. Who is the author? The publisher? The sponsor(s)?
  2. What are the author's credentials?
  3. What kind of authority does the author have? (subject expertise, eyewitness, societal position, etc)


  1. Is the information in this source supported by other sources you've found?
  2. Does the author provide citations and references?
  3. Is this source peer-reviewed?


  1. Why does this information exist? How do you know?
  2. Does the source have a sponsor(s)? How was this research paid for?
  3. Do you detect any bias in the source? How do you know?
  4. Is this source mostly fact or mostly opinion?