Not all the information you find online is reliable or trustworthy. It’s important to use your critical thinking skills to assess and evaluate the reliability of websites and information you discover.
Check the Domain Name - what does it tell you about the site’s origin or author?
.gov – government. Statistics, facts, public information.
.org – organization or foundation
.edu – educational website. School, university, library
.com – commercial
.ca – Canadian
.net – internet service provider (often personal websites)
~ indicates a personal page
Does it pass the CRAAP test?
Currency / Timeliness
- How recently was the site last updated?
- Is the information relevant or outdated?
- How does this relate to your research topic?
- Does it contribute to your knowledge?
- Why is this page better than another resource?
- Who wrote the page?
- Are they an expert? What credentials do they have?
- How can you find out more about the author?
- What does the site’s url tell you about the site?
- Is the information fact or opinion based?
- Is the information objectively presented or is it biased?
- Is there advertising on the site and does it skew your perception of the information?
- Are alternative points of view represented?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What is the purpose of the page? To inform? To entertain? To convince? To sell?
- Adapted from S. Blakeslee. Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP test.
- Website Research: CRAAP Test
- Trent University – Tutorial: Evaluating Websites
- University of Lethbridge