ECE 1 - Human Development

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.

Example CRAAP Test

CRAAP Challenge

If we did not already know the articles from the library databases were peer reviewed by checking the box for cholarly peer reviewed journalswe can use some criteria to help evaluate a resource's credibility. Lets test the credibility of the article we found in the previous page's example: 

Kaale, A., Smith, L., & Sponheim, E. (2012). A randomized controlled trial of preschool-based joint attention intervention for children with autism. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 53(1), 97-105.

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

 

 Currency 

  6 points total

  •  Is your information current enough for your needs?
    1. Yes  >>> 6 pts This article is from 2012, that's within the last three years so it is current enough for our needs. 
    2. Sort of  >>> 3 pts
    3. No  >>> pts

Date of source____2012_________



 Relevance
  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 the study is of children with autism in preschool programs. Because our research is still early the details of the article may or may not fit with our final paper. 
    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
    2. I can explain half of the source  >>> 3 pts Because I am not an expert in joint attention intervention for children with autism I may not be able to explain everything that is in this article to someone else. This is something to keep in mind, as you don't want to assume something is credible just because it uses professional jargon. In addition the study is set in Norway, which could affect its relevancy. If you aren't sure then it's important to really look into the other criteria in the CRAAP test for the resource.   
    3. I only understand certain sentences  >>> 0 pts



 Authority 
  6 points total

  •  The author/publisher/source/sponsor of this information is:
    1. A real person(s) (first and last name)____Kaale, A., Smith, L., & Sponheim, E.________  >>> 3 pts
    2. and/or A real organization (government, business, institution, Journal)__Published inJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. When we search for this journal we can see it has an editorial board and has awards. This is the best indicator that an article is peer reviewed as most professional journals go through a review process by the editorial board made up of professionals in the field before publishing an article. ___________ >>> 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 Anett Kaale reveals that she is a Research Fellow at Oslo University Hospital, which is the hospital she is cited  to be associated with in the article. The article itself ties Lars Smith with the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Eili Sponheim with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital
    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

 



 Accuracy 
  6 points total

  •  Does the author cite other experts?
    1. Yes >> 3 pts Yes, a full reference list is included at the end of the article. 
    2. No >>> 0 pts
  • Does this information have spelling, grammar, or typographical errors?
    1. Yes >>> 0 pts
    2. No >>> 3 pts 



 Purpose 
  3 points total

  •  The main purpose of this information is to:
    1. Provide facts or teach something >>> 2 pts Because the article is reporting the findings of a study associated with a hospital and government center, we can safely assume they are not just providing entertainment. In addition after reading the article it is clear they are providing the reuslts of the study in order to educate others. 
    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 The authors clearly outline the aim of the study and article in the abstract: "Aim: Assess the effects of a preschool-based JA-intervention."
    2. No >>> pts

This article scored a total of 27, which puts it in the excellent range. For most articles found through the library databases this level of analysis may not be as necessary if you are using a database that allows you to limit to only "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" (please see the tab How to find peer reviewed articles for more information). 

Website Evaluation

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?