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Evaluating Online Resources

Evaluation Criteria

When searching the internet for resources, it is important to evaluate the various aspects of the website and it's content to ensure the site is presenting accurate and true information. So, how do you evaluate web pages? It's easy! Just use the C.R.A.A.P. test!

C.R.A.A.P Test




The C.R.A.A.P test is a simple way to evaluate a website using 5 different categories: Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Below you will find questions to ask for each category to determine if the website is credible and appropriate for your research.

C.R.A.A.P. Test

Currency refers to the timeliness of the information. 


  • When was the information posted or published?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current, up-to-date information? 
  • Are the links functional?


Relevance refers to the importance of the information to your topic


  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information, language, and terminology at an appropriate level (not elementary, not too technical)?
  • Does this source add to your body of knowledge on the topic?

Authority refers to the source of the information 


  • Who is the author/publisher/source?
  • What makes this author/publisher/source an authority on this topic?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • What is the URL domain (.com, .gov, .edu, .org)?

Accuracy refers to the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.


  • Is the content making extraordinary claims or claims that sound very different from other research you have found?
  • Is the information supported by evidence such as links to other credible sources or a reference list?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed? 
  • Is the language unbiased and objective?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose refers to the reason the information exists.


  • What is the purpose of this information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Does the author express personal opinions?
  • Is the content objective and impartial?
  • Is the content trying to sell a product, service or idea?
  • Is the website satire?


Not sure where to start?

  • Look for the About page on the website you are evaluating. Often this is a great starting point to find the basic information to evaluate the resource such as the purpose, contact information, and currency.
  • Also check the page footer for dates, mailing addresses and links for more information.

Also when evaluating websites, consider the following:

  • Does the website have amateurish designs and/or use all caps?
  • Does the website use clickbait headlines and/or photos?
  • Are there typos, grammatical errors, or spelling errors?
  • Are there a lack of citations and links to verifiable information?
  • Are there a lot of advertisements? 
  • How many steps would it take to speak to a representative? (Check the About page or Contact Us page)