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Printable Evaluating Information Worksheet
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- Is the information current or out-of date for your topic? Note: very current information is more critical in some fields, e.g. the sciences, than in other fields, e.g., the humanities.
- [Web sites]: Do all links work?
The importance of the information for your needs.
- Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
- 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?
The source of the information.
- What is the title or name of the web page(s), entry, or article you are examining? How difficult is this to determine?
- 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? Hint: you may need to look elsewhere to find this information.
- What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
- Is there advertising on the site? If so, what type of advertising is
there and is it clearly differentiated from the content?
- [Web sites]: Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
- subdomain name, example: http://www.stmarytx.edu
- domain examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net
The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.
- Where does the information come from? Is this documented? Are the
author's sources listed, either in footnotes, a bibliography, or end
- Is the information supported by evidence?
- Is there any indication that the information has been reviewed by editors or refereed?
- Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
- Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
- Are there spelling, grammatical, or other typographical errors?
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?
- Who is the intended audience? How can you tell?
- 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?
- [Web sites]: What types of colors, graphics, audio, video, text are used? What do these elements convey? How effectively does the site or page convey the intended message?
[Web sites]: Do the graphics provide useful additional information or
serve an important function or are they merely aesthetically pleasing?
Adapted from "Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test." 29 Sept. 2009. Meriam Library, California State University, Chico. Web. 3 Sept. 2010.
Other criteria to consider:
- How broad or deep is the coverage of the topic?
Is this information available here at the library or at another location
that is readily accessible?
What other resources are available on this topic?
Has a Reference Librarian been consulted to help you find other sources?
- Considering your responses, would you use this information source for a project or paper? Why or why not?