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ARA 390 Arts Administration -- Fall 2017: Evaluating Sources

Crap detection

"Exit Through the Gift Shop" is a 2010 British "documentary" film directed by street artist Banksy. Nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar, the film might just be a big hoax. But does it matter?

Why Evaluate web sources?

  • Anyone with a little time, some knowledge and small amount of money can publish on the Internet.
  • No person, persons or organization reviews the content of the Internet.
  • Pages are retrieved by search engines based on the page's content, not the relevancy or quality of the page.
  • Much information on the Web is not updated regularly.

It’s up to YOU to sort the accurate bits from the misinfo, disinfo, spam, scams, urban legends, and hoaxes. “Crap detection,” as Hemingway called it half a century ago, is more important than ever before.

C.R.A.A.P. Test

The CRAAP Test

Evaluate Sources Based on the Following Criteria:
Currency, Relevance, Authority, 
ccuracy, and Purpose/Point of View

  • Currency
    • How recent is the information?
    • How recently has the website been updated?
    • Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Relevance
    • 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?
    • Who is the creator or author?
    • What are the credentials of the author/creator?
    • Who is the publisher or sponsor?
    • Are they reputable?
    • What is the publisher's interest (if any) in this information?
    • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?


    • Is the information reliable?
    • Is there supporting evidence for the information?
    • Does the information presented include a bibiliography?
    • Is the information peer-reviewed?
    • Can you find other sources to validate the information?
    • Is the information presented free from spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors?
  •  Purpose/Point of View
    • Is this fact or opinion?
    • Is it biased?
    • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something? Are there advertisements on the website?
    • 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)

(adapted from the LOEX Wiki)

Video: Evaluating Sources