This is Good CRAAP!

Asking questions about the world around you and learning to evaluating the responses you discover are one of the core skills you develop throughout your life. College is one of the prime places you hone these life-long skills through learning to interrogate the information you hear in class, put in your research papers, and use in your daily interaction with your peers. Librarians like to call these information evaluating skills: Information Literacy.

One of the best places to apply your Information Literacy skill set is the internet. But to use it effectively one must understand how to best evaluate the information it returns. A good place to begin for suggestions about evaluating information you find on the internet is provided by the Albertsons Library website. But another resource I like to use is called CRAAP. CRAAP stands 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 informational content
Purpose: The reason the information exists

(CRAAP is Courtesy of Meriam Library -- California State University Chico)

I find that if something passes the “CRAAP Test” then it is a pretty reliable source of information to use in my research. It is also fun to say. Say it with me: CRAAP, CRAAP, CRAAP. Okay, now that we got that out of our system…. we can move on.

It is important to remember that one of the strengths in starting your research with library-related resources is that this material has already been pre-evaluated through the library’s collection development process for relevance, authority, accuracy, etc. So the library and its resources is always a safe and efficient place to begin your research.

If you forget where the CRAAP website is, you can just plug the term CRAAP into Google or any other search engine and it should come back with the website.

Good luck with your research.

Rick Stoddart, Reference Librarian

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