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Public Health

“the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort."

Evaluating Health or Medical Resources

CRAAP Test
(see handout below)

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author / publisher / source / sponsor?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source (examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)?

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors / sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

 

The ACT UP Method (1)

A - author. Who wrote the resource? Who are they? Background information matters.

C - currency. When was this resource written? When was it published? Does this resource fit into the currency of your topic?

T - truth. How accurate is this information? Can you verify any of the claims in other sources? Are there typos and spelling mistakes?

U - unbiased. Is the information presented to sway the audience to a particular point of view? Resources unless otherwise stated should be impartial.

P - privilege. Check the privilege of the author(s). Are they the only folks who might write or publish on this topic? Who is missing in this conversation? Critically evaluate the subject terms associated with each resource you found. How are they described? What are the inherent biases?

 

(1) Stahura, D. (2018). ACT UP for evaluating sources: Pushing against privilege. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10), 551. doi:https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.79.10.551

Other Ways to Evaluate Resources