Skip to Main Content

Sociology 001 (Earl-Novell) Spring 2022: Evaluating Information

Information Timeline


The Information Timeline

Graphic showing timeline of information

Scholarly vs. Popular



Evaluating Websites:  Applying the CRAAP Test
(Borrowed from   Library - California State University, Chico)


CurrencyThe 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?
  • This article uses outdated information:


RelevanceThe importance of the information for your needs. 


AuthorityThe 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
  • This site appears legitimate but we cannot be sure about the source:


AccuracyThe 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? 
  • This site cites data and statistics with questionable validity:


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?
  • Look at the funding and copyright information at the bottom of this website: