Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENGL Library Research Guide

Evaluate Sources

Evaluating the authority, usefulness, and reliability of the information you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. The questions you ask about books, periodical articles, multimedia titles, or Web pages are similar whether you're looking at a citation to the item, a physical item in hand, or an electronic version.

Evaluating the authority, usefulness, and reliability of the information you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. Use the CRAAP Test to help you evaluate the information you find for:

Currency - The timeliness of the information.
Relevance - The importance of the information for your needs
Authority - The source of the information
Accuracy - The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Purpose - The reason the information exists.

Evaluating Websites - CRAAP Test

Evaluating Web Pages: Questions to Ask & Strategies for Getting the Answers is an excellent guide from UC Berkeley.

What is the site's domain? The following list shows several sites defined by their domain. Generally speaking, .edu, .gov or .org domains are more reliable than .com.
  • .edu - educational institutions
  • .gov - government bodies
  • .org - organizations, non-profit
  • .com - commercial businesses, for-profit
  • .net - organizations related to the Internet itself

Quiz! Finding a Credible Website

You are looking for a credible website for your research essay. Which of the following websites is acceptable?

Pick one of the following
Website 1: 16 votes (29.09%)
Website 2: 3 votes (5.45%)
Website 3: 36 votes (65.45%)
Total Votes: 55