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COMM28883 Business Communication 2


The internet is like "...a flea market: there's a vast selection of sites to choose from but not a lot of order to it. Some sites are offered by reputable "dealers" and some from individuals who want to show off their personal favorite items. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's a hidden treasure, what's worth taking a look at, and what's a waste of time."  ( ALA's ALSC Children and Technology Committee ). Anyone can publish to the web, whether they are an expert on their subject matter of choice or not. It can be difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad. Use the tools below to assist you in sifting through your web research.

The CRAAP Test

This list was adapted from CRAAP Test created by Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.

CRAAP Test provides an easy way to evaluate websites (and also any kind of source) you find for your research.

C: Currency

  • When was the information published or created?
  • Is the information current and up-to-date?
  • Has it been revised or updated? When? Is there a date posted?
  • If online, are there broken links?

R: Relevance

  • Does the information relate to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience and is the information presented at an appropriate level? (too elementary, too advanced)
  • Can you find the same or better information in another source?

A: Authority

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? Is there a name even posted?
  • What are his/her qualifications? Can you find anything about the person or company?
  • If online - look at the doman (.edu, .gov,, etc.) in the URL. What does it tell you?

A: Accuracy

  • Is the information supported by evidence? Can you verify it at another source?
  • Has the information been peer reviewed or refereed? (You may not find this on a lot of websites).
  • Does the author list his or her references, or provide credit somehow to their sources?
  • Does the language seem biased? Is the tone objective (i.e. free of emotion)?

P: Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the information (to inform, teach, sell something, entertain the reader, etc.)?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • Bias: a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2014). Is the point-of-view objective and impartial?
  • Do the authors make their intentions or purpose clear? Can you identify the main argument of the work?

Why should you use the Library's databases and online subscriptions?

  • Authority and trustworthiness is pretty much guaranteed
  • Fewer results to sift through and easier to refine and limit your search
  • Narrower, more focused searches resulting in much more relevant information being retrieved
  • Advanced search options such as date, publication type, subject area, etc. which makes searching much easier
  • Databases deal only with published information (i.e. previously available in print) which usually requires the user paying a fee on the web. You get access to this prime material for free through the library's subscription

Adapted from Yale University Library's handout The Web vs. Library Databases: A Comparison

Evaluating Internet Sources


Evaluating internet information. (2014). Virginia Tech University Libraries. Retrieved from

Meriam Library. (2010, September 17). Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test. Retrieved from

Yale University Library. (n.d.). The Web vs. Library Databases: A Comparion. Retrieved from