Information resources reflect their author's knowledge and experience on a topic. Authority is created through knowledge and/or experience, and depending on context, may come from a wide variety of sources. Expert researchers:
Please visit the ARCL Frame "Authority is Constructed and Contextual" for more info
You will find more information on evaluating all types of information using the CRAAP Test below.
The CRAAP test criteria will help you to critically evaluate your sources. Keep in mind that these are guidelines and not concrete rules. In the end you will have to judge for yourself whether a source is appropriate for your needs and meets course requirements.
The CRAAP Test was developed by the Meriam Library, CSU Chico.
Learn about the authors or publishers of the sources you plan to use and their qualifications. Author credibility is important because you are entrusting them to serve as your expert witnesses on the topic. How do you know if the author is an expert on your topic?
Currency is important because information changes over time. You always want to use the most up-to-date information because old, superseded information could weaken your position or argument. How do you determine the timeliness of information?
Using inaccurate sources in your argument will weaken and undermine your own credibility. How do you judge the accuracy of a source?
Use information sources which meet your needs and support your ideas appropriately. Identify sources that you can readily understand and properly incorporate into your writing. Do not include sources which are too technical and difficult to understand or are too simplistic and probably written for a much younger audience. How do you know if the source is relevant?
All books, articles, videos, and web sites exist for a reason. It may be to entertain, sell, persuade, or educate. Understanding the purpose behind a source of information is important when evaluating its usefulness. How do you determine the purpose of a source?
Does the source clearly state a reason for providing the information?
Judge if the information is fact, opinion, or propaganda - fact is better than opinion, opinion is better than propaganda
Is obvious bias (political, religious, cultural, etc.) present?
Are alternate points of view presented?