BUAD 66 and 166 - Business Communication

Library and other resources for your course and beyond!

Use this method to determine if your sources are CRAAP

(Get the PDF here)

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content, and

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?


CRAAP Test - Example

CRAAP Challenge

If we did not already know the articles from the library databases were peer reviewed by checking the box for scholarly peer reviewed journalswe can use some criteria to help evaluate an article's credibility. Lets test the credibility of this article found in the database Business Source Elite

Brown, Caleb. “From Student to Planner Key Skills for Success.” Journal of Financial Planning (2009): 8-9. Business Source Elite.

Add up the points for the source and see how high the quality is!

33-28 Excellent | 27-22 Good | 21-16 Average | 15-10 Almost there | 9-5 Borderline | 4-0 Unacceptable



  6 points total

  •  Is your information current enough for your needs?
    1. Yes  >>> 6 pts 
    2. Sort of  >>> 3 pts This article is from 2009, that's within the last ten years, but keep in mind how much the job market has changed and that some of these tips could be outdated. 
    3. No  >>> pts

Date of source____2009_________

  9 points total

  •  Did you find the answer to your question?
    1. I was able to find the answer >>> 3 pts This article fits our information need as it discusses reflection on common mistakes in order to give students a better advantage in jobs in the financial industry.
    2. I found something similar but not the answer>>> 1.5 pts
    3. There was no usable information>>> 0 pts
  • Could you explain the information in this source to someone else?
    1. I can explain the whole thing  >>> 6 pts The article is easy to read and doesn’t use too much complicated jargon. Be aware that if an article is using a lot of words you don’t understand, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s credible.
    2. I can explain half of the source  >>> 3 pts 
    3.  I only understand certain sentences  >>> 0 pts

  6 points total

  •  The author/publisher/source/sponsor of this information is:
    1. A real person(s) (first and last name)____Brown, Caleb >>> 3 pts
    2. and/or A real organization (government, business, institution, Journal)__Published in Journal of Financial Planning. When we search for this journal we can see it has a board of directors and has awards. ___________ >>> 3 pts
    3. Username or pseudonym ___________________ >>> 0 pts
    4. Can’t tell >>> 0 pts
  • The author is:
    1. Very qualified to write on this topic and has formal training  >>> 3 pts A Google search of Caleb Brown reveals that he has MBA, and CFP®. However it is good to keep in mind that he does work for the company “New Planner Recruiting,” which is a comprehensive recruiting company. While this does mean that he may have bias, for the purposes of this article it also gives him credibility as an expert in the field.
    2. Qualified to write on the topic, but has no formal training  >>> 1.5 pts
    3. Not qualified to write on the topic and has no formal training / can’t tell  >>>  0 pts


  6 points total

  •  Does the author cite other experts?
    1. Yes >> 3 pts 
    2. No >>> 0 pts It is primarily based off his experiences.
  • Does this information have spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?
    1. Yes >>> 0 pts
    2. No >>> 3 pts 

  3 points total

  •  The main purpose of this information is to:
    1. Provide facts or teach something >>> 2 pts Although the author works for a company that sells its services recruiting, the article is focused on teaching students. However, I would be wary of articles where the author or sponsors stand to gain from the information being distributed.  
    2. Sell something >>> 0 pts
    3. Provide entertainment >>> 0 pts
  • Does the author make the intention or purpose of this information clear?
    1. Yes >>> 1 pt Yes, tips for getting jobs in planning firms after college.
    2. No >>> pts

This article scored a total of 27, which puts it in the top of the "good" range.



Evaluating Information

When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test developed by Meriam Library CSUChico can help. The CRAAP 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.

Website Evaluation