August 2

Evaluating Websites

One of the marks of a good researcher is the ability to sift through information, discerning what is reliable, what is current, what suits your purpose and what is written with authority.
Pneumonics help us remember facts. Here’s one guide you won’t forget!

The CRAP test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria: Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View. Below are some questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.


* How recent is the information?
* How recently has the website been updated?
* Is it current enough for your topic?


* What kind of information is included in the resource?
* Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is is balanced?
* Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?


* Who is the creator or author?
* What are the credentials?
* Who is the published or sponsor?
* Are they reputable?
* What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
* Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View

* Is this fact or opinion?
* Is it biased?
* Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Another easy guide for evaluating websites is the REAL test:
Read the URL (domain name)
Examine the contents (Can I understand it? Have i cross checked it?)
Ask about the author and/or owner
Look at the links

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