UNST 228e Families & Society - Mosier: Web Tips & Evaluation

C.R.A.P. Test for Evaluating

Use the following criteria to help you evaluate the information you find and determine if the source is gold, or if it is just C.R.A.P.

Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating a source:

Currency: the timeliness of the information

When was the information published or posted?

Has the information been revised or updated?

Is the information current enough for your topic?

Are the links functioning?

Reliability:  the accuracy, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

Where does the information come from?

Is the information supported by evidence?

Are there references given for the information?

Can you verify the information in another source?

Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?  

Are there links to sources or further information?  What do these links tell you?

Authority: the source of the information

Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?

Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliation given?  If so, what are they?

What are the author's qualifications to write about this topic?

Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?

Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

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 make their intentions or purposes clear?

Is there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal bias?

Are there ads on the site?

Who is the intended audience?  Is the information at an appropriate level for your needs?

The C.R.A.P. Test in Action Video: Websites

This video demonstrates how you can use the C.R.A.P. test (Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose/Point of View) to evaluate websites.

Advanced Google

Limit your search results to a particular domain

Example: I want to find government sources about vaccines.

What to type in the search box: vaccines site:.gov

screenshot of google search

Limit your search results to a specific website

Example: I want to search The Oregonian for imformation about flouride in my drinking water. 

What to type in the search box:  flouride water site:.oregonlive.com

screenshot of google search

For more Google search options, look for the Settings link under the main search on your results page.  Then, find the Advanced Search link.

These tips and tricks are not necessarily limited to Google.  Check the search engine of your choice for advanced options, often listed under More at the top of the search screen.

Site Searching Video