Not all information is equal!
It is crucial that you take steps to ensure the information that you rely on and include in your work is of a good academic quality. Inaccurate, false or misleading information can undermine the points that you want to make and weaken your arguments.
Critical evaluation is especially important with non academic sources (e.g. news sources).
A brief overview of relevance and academic quality issues is provided below.
A separate Evaluating Information Sources tutorial is also available and offers the opportunity to engage more deeply in academic quality issues.
The ability to evaluate the academic quality of the information you find is a core aspect of scholarly research.
This is particularly important when searching online and using tools like Google. While textbooks and academic journals will likely have gone through a rigorous review and editing process, there are no such guarantees for much of the information you can find online.
The CRAAP test provides simple criteria for judging the academic quality of information. By asking some questions of the sources you encounter, you can successfully boost the quality of information you use in your work.
The five main CRAAP test criteria are:
In an age of misinformation and fake-news, the ability to evaluate the quality of the information we find has never been more important
Currency: the timeliness of the information
Relevancy: the importance of the information for your needs
Authority: the source of the information
Accuracy: the reliability and correctness of the content
Purpose: the reason the information exists
To help you evaluate sources effectively in your future projects, download this Evaluation Checklist. You can use the checklist to help determine if the information you find passes the CRAAP test criteria.
This activity provides an opportunity for you to put the CRAAP test into practice.
Imagine you are conducting research into the following topic:
The changing role of technology and AI in the employment market.
Take a look at the source below and consider some of the key questions from the CRAAP test when answering the questions in the box on the right.