The CRAAP Test

Evaluating Books, Articles, and Websites


When was this information published?


Is this an important source for your needs?  How is the information related to your question?  Does the information address the complexities and significance of your topic? Is the writing style too basic or too advanced for your needs?


Is that really true or factual?  How could you check that?  Is the information specific?


Who is the author? Are they an expert? What are their credentials?


What is the purpose of the site/article/book? (To inform? Sell? Persuade?)  Is the work biased? What is the author’s point of view? Do you need to consider another point of view?

Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed vs. Popular Articles

Here are some differences between the two:

Peer-Reviewed/ Scholarly Articles

Audience: Professionals, Professors, Graduate Students

Author: Has credentials or expertise in the field (check for information on their education, institutional affiliation, or other publications)

Contents: articles are longer and more detailed, usually have more text than images/graphics, and provide a bibliography

Language: Uses language/jargon specific to the field

Research: Findings often based on original research or new applications of others’ research

Peer-reviewed: Yes – experts in the field evaluate an article before it is accepted for publication

Popular Articles

Audience: General audience

Author: Often staff writers/contributors without expertise or special qualifications in the field (their credentials aren’t given)

Contents: articles are shorter, may contain more images, and usually don’t provide a bibliography

Language: Uses everyday language that’s easily understood by a general audience

Research: Usually not “original” research

Peer-reviewed: No

Associate Director for Learning and Research