You can use the TRAP test to evaluate whether a specific resource is appropriate for your purposes, whether it is a scholarly publication, news source, or web content.
T - timeliness
- When was the information published or posted?
- Has the information been revised or updated?
- Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
- Are the links functional?
R - reliability
- 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 unbiased and free of emotion?
- Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?
A - authority
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
- What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
- Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
- Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
- Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net
P - purpose
- Who is the intended audience?
- What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
- Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
Adapted from "Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test" by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.