How to verify information


Ensuring that information about a cause or issue is accurate is a must before sharing it. The CRAAP test is a common method used by researchers to evaluate information. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Follow the questions below for each source or piece of information to determine its validity.

The CRAAP test

Currency: How timely the information is

  • Does your topic or issue require current information or sources, or can you use older sources?
  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been updated recently? Who is able to update the information?

Relevance: Whether the information is related, connected, or useful for your topic

  • Who is the audience this source was created for?
  • Is the information appropriate for your audience?
  • Is this source of information relevant to your issue?
  • Have you done a sufficient amount of research and reviewed other sources on this topic for comparison?

Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author, publisher, publication, and/or website of this source?
  • Is the author qualified to write about this topic? What are the author’s political and organizational affiliations?
  • Is there a way to contact the author or publication, through email or mailing address?
  • If it is a website, what is the url? (e.g., “.com,” “.edu”)

Accuracy: Whether the source is correct or reliable

  • Is there evidence listed to support the source? Is the evidence from a trusted source?
  • Can you use your own background knowledge to verify any of the information?
  • Does the language used seem unbiased and to have no emotion?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors?

Purpose: Why this source was created

  • What is the actual purpose of this information? Was it created to persuade, to inform, to entertain?
  • Does the author seem unbiased and objective in their writing?
  • Does the information seem to be fact or opinion?