Skip to main content
Skip navigation

 

Evaluating sources

How can you assess if a source is legitimate?

It is easy to find information on the Internet but the majority of content out there is not suitable to be cited in your university assignment, therefore you must critically evaluate the information before you consider using it for an assignment.

The TRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. Apply the T.R.A.A.P Test to determine if information is reliable and appropriate for your assessments.

The T.R.A.A.P. Test (visual)

Acknowledgement

The TRAAP Test is modified from The CRAAP Test, created by Sarah Blakeslee and the librarians at California State University's Meriam Library in 2004.

The T.R.A.A.P Test (text based)

The TRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

Evaluation Criteria

Timeliness

  • When was the information published?
  • Does the age of the information affect the accuracy?
  • Is there a more recent version that supports or refutes the original?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is it pitched at a scholarly audience?
  • Have you looked at a variety of similar sources before selecting this one?
  • Would you be comfortable citing this source?

Authority

  • Where did the information come from?
  • Is the author / publisher / sponsor identified?
  • Can their credentials be verified?
  • Has the source been cited in other research?
  • Do you trust the source?

Accuracy

  • Can the information be verified other in other reliable sourced?
  • Does the research contain sufficient evidence to back it up?
  • Has it been through a peer-review process?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

Purpose 

  • Why was this information created?
  • Does it seek to inform, provide facts, to sell, or to persuade you of something?
  • Is there evidence of political, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
  • Is the information objective and impartial?

Responsible Officer: University Librarian/Page Contact: Library Systems & Web Coordinator