Finding and Evaluating Information

With a world of information at our fingertips, the ability to locate and discern reliable information sources is essential. Learn how to search for and evaluate information using the library and other resources.

Fact-Checking Websites

Fact-checking websites can help you determine the accuracy of information you see in the news or online.

Data Literacy

Data plays an important role in research, statistics, and decision-making. Here are some resources to help you recognize how data is used and represented in information sources you find.

The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a checklist to help you determine if information you find is reliable. Developed by Molly Beestrum, it stands for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

  • CurrencyIs the information current or out of date? When was it published? If it is an online source, are the links still functional? How recently has the website been updated?
  • Relevance: Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? Who is the intended audience? Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?
  • Authority: Who is the author or creator of the information? What are the author's credentials, qualifications, or affiliations? Is there an "About Us" link, or does the url reveal anything about the source?
    • ​URL types:
      • .com = commercial website 
      • .org = nonprofit organization
      • .edu = educational organization 
      • .gov = government 
      • .net = network of computers 
      • .mi l= military website 
      • .uk/.kr/et.c = country specific website 
  • Accuracy: Is the information supported by evidence? Does the author provide sources or references? Can it be verified by another source or from personal knowledge? Is the content primarily opinion? 
  • Purpose: Why does the information exist (to inform, persuade, entertain, sell?) Does the author seem to be trying to promote an agenda or particular side? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases? 

How to Fact Check Images

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