CRAAP Test to Proof Reliability

09.02.21 Working with sources Time to read: 6min

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When writing your thesis, you might be tempted to use any research source. However, you should know that not all online information is reliable. It is hard to determine the right source for your research due to the vast number of online sources. CRAAP test aims at helping students and educators to evaluate the trustworthiness of different sources.

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CRAAP test - FAQs

CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. CRAAP test is the test used by educators and students to check the credibility and reliability of academic research sources.

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You can know the reliability of a particular source using the CRAAP test. You only need to answer some questions and score the five parts: 1 – 10, 1 being the most unreliable and 10 the most reliable. You need to add up the scores to know the right source for your academic research.

You get a framework like news to help in evaluating sources. Considering different aspects of the CRAAP test can help determine if certain information is worth being cited, shared on social media, or accepted at face value. You can know the time of publication of certain information, the intended audience, the author of the data if the information is supported by valid evidence, and the facts of information provided, all thanks to the CRAAP test.

To pass the CRAAP test, sources need to agree with the five criteria of the framework.

  • You should start with the timelessness of the information. Get to know the last time the information was updated or published.
  • Learn the relevance of the information to your need. The source is reliable if it is relevant to what you are doing.
  • The correctness of the information is critical.
  • Select the information with credible authors on the topic.
  • Be clear on the purpose of the information to have the right and reliable information to use in your research.

CRAAP test is used to evaluate different sources of information. It is mostly used for website evaluation, but you can still apply it to other sources.

Definition: CRAAP test

Students can reduce the likelihood of using unreliable information sources by applying the CRAAP test while evaluating sources. CRAAP test gives a list of questions that students need to ask themselves when selecting credible and reliable sources of academic research papers.

Meaning of CRAAP test acronyms

CRAPP test is a short form for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

C- Currency

This is the first step to know if certain information is credible. Currency ensures the information is the most recent. Educators and students need to ask some important questions to know the information’s currency and if it has been updated or revised recently. The student needs to consider the research topic to know if it requires new media, the latest finding, or new to have the right source. The question you need to ask include:

  • What is the date of publication?
  • Does currency matter to the topic?
  • Are the links current?
  • Why or why not do currency matter in the subject?

R – Relevance

The relevance of the information has an impact on the entire research. The student can understand the intended audience of the data when evaluating the source in terms of significance. The relevance of the information is essential to help the student know what they are looking for in the available vast number of topics. Question involves:

  • What type of questions does the topic answer?
  • Is the audience appropriate?
  • Does the source provide new information?

A – Authority

This will help the student to know who the author of a particular source is. Students need to know the author’s affiliation and education level when evaluating a specific source. There should be contact information of the author for confirmation in any source. Through the author’s authority, students and educators are sure the information can be trusted and used in the right manner. The questions to ask include:

  • Is the source reputable?
  • Is the author familiar with the subject?
  • What to know about the author online?
  • Does the author have an affiliation to the organisation?
  • What credentials does the author have to relate to the topic?

A – Accuracy

Authority deals with the trustworthiness of the source. Make sure the accuracy of the source connects back to the original content. You should see evidence supporting the information from a particular source for it to be credible. The source needs to be referred to and verified from common knowledge. Since the information is used for facts, the language needs to be unbiased and free from grammar, spelling, and typographical errors. The questions to ask include:

  • Is there missing information?
  • Is there peer review for the source?
  • Does the source align with other sources of the same topic?
  • Are there any false or information or errors?

P – Purpose

This helps the student know the author’s intention to determine whether the information is right for the research. The student needs to consider some aspects to know if the information is an opinion, facts, propaganda, personal, political, or religious bias. Knowing the purpose of the information makes it easier to source information. You can ask the below questions.

  • Is the information biased in one way?
  • Does the source provide several views?
  • Is the language used able to strong response?

Importance of evaluating sources

Evaluating the usefulness, reliability, and authority of sources is an essential step for any academic writing. It helps the reader of your research paper to know what you are talking about and can verify the information to be true. Evaluating sources enhances your general abilities and skills to deal with different information sources and determine the right one to use.

Using the CRAAP test as a method of evaluating sources is vital in today’s education since there is a lot of information you can get online and in hard copy. The benefits of using the test range from developing the ability to draw a perfect conclusion on a research paper to synthesising information to extract the right information. The advantage of knowing relevant and irrelevant information is the key aim of the CRAAP test in source evaluation.

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Tips on conducting CRAAP test

  • When preparing to conduct the CRAAP test, you need to have right ideas at the back of your head to have the right source.
  • Ensure the information is relevant regardless of how interesting it is since you will need it in making decisions on your research.
  • Information needs to be up-to-date, especially in business areas.
  • Do not go for information that has errors. The figure needs to add up in every information you choose for your academic research. Accurate information resembles accurate data collection.
  • Check the contact information when conducting the test.

In a Nutshell

  • CRAAP tests help create boundaries between the reader and author through citing sources. Also, the student will gain skill on:
    • Differentiating between fiction, facts, and opinion
    • Seeking alternative points on different perspectives
    • Extracting meaning through analysis and interpretation of sources
  • It is crucial to minimise your bias influence (everyone is biased) when searching for the right source since it is an act of constant self-reflection.