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Nursing Research: Apply the CRAAP Test

If you are a nursing student, this guide is for you!

Use the CRAAP test to evaluate information

When you search the Web, you're going to find a lot of information...but is it accurate and reliable? You have to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP test can help. It is a list of questions you can ask yourself in order to determine the quality level of the information on a Web site. Use these questions as a guide for thinking critically. The importance of each criteria will vary depending upon specific topics or situations. Use the C-R-A-A-P acronym to recall the criteria needed for evaluation.

Currency: The timeliness of the Web page, importance varies depending upon the topic. Science, health or technology topics need to be as current as possible. Currency for historical topics matters less, but new information and interpretations of historical events do occur.

  • When was the information gathered, posted, or last revised?
  • Are the links functional and up-to-date.
  • Is there evidence of newly added information or links?
  • How did you establish the currency of you site?

Relevance/Coverage: The uniqueness of the content and its importance for your needs.

  • What is the depth and breadth of the information presented?
  • Is the information unique? Is it available elsewhere from other sources?
  • Who is the intended audience? Is this easily determined?
  • Is this the information you need?

Authority: The source of the Web page. The author of the information.

  • Who is responsible? Can you determine a person, persons or a corporate/group author? 
  • Are they a reliable source? Are their credentials listed? 
  • Are they a teacher or student of the topic? 
  • Does the author have a reputation as knowledgeable on the subject? Is there contact information?
  • Does the author have other published works on the topic?
  • Is the author affiliated with an organization? 
  • If the source is an organization, is it a well-known source for the topic?

Accuracy: Reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.

  • Where does the information on the Web page come from?
  • Are the original sources listed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in independent sources or from your own knowledge?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or other typos on the page, indicating a not very professional source. 

Purpose/point of view: The reason for the Web page; Is the information biased or prejudiced? 

  • Are possible biases clearly stated? Some sources have a known "slant."
  • Is advertising content vs. informational content easily distinguishable?
  • Are editorials clearly labeled?
  • Is the purpose of the page stated?
  • Is the purpose to: inform? teach? entertain? enlighten? sell a product? promote a point of view or ideology?
  • What does the site's domain (.com, .net, .edu, .org, .gov, .mil) reveal about its purpose?

Your assignment sheet has a rubric on page 4, in which you assign point values from 0 to 3 for each criteria. Add up the score and see if your Web page is good enough for citing in college assignments. 

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