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Library Resources at the University Center, Sioux Falls : Evaluating Web Sites

What can a URL tell you?

The CRAAP Test

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.

Be Cyber-skeptical

Who wrote the page?  

  • Who is the author or the name of the organization? Note: an email contact is not enough information.
  • What are the author's or orgnaizaitons' credentials? Are they qualified to provide information? 

Does the page have a date, or last updated date? Is it current?

  • Using undated factual or statistical information is just as bad as using anonymous information.

What is the author's purpose in writing this page?

  • To educate? To inform? To anger? To sell? 
  • Is there advertising on the page? If so, the site is for-profit. Consider what this means in conjunction with the information provided. 

Accuracy

  • Does the information appear plausible, or realistic? 
  • Does the author site other sources as to where the information came from? 
  • Are there typos, or misspelled words on the page? Does the author use correct grammar and punctuation?

Remember, you can use the CRAAP test on Web sites too! 

How to Spot Fake News

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