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Mercyhurst Prep Library: Evaluating Sources

The CRAP Test


  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?


  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?


  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
  • Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • the creator/author trying to sell you something?
  • Is it biased?

Wikipedia: No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy

When used correctly, Wikipedia can be an extremely effective research tool. If used poorly, the credibility of your paper will be called into question. 

Wikipedia is user-generated. That means it is NOT peer-reviewed. While many pages are probably free of inaccuracies, we cannot be sure. With this in mind, we need to approach Wikipedia with a discerning eye.