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Virtual Library Home Page: Evaluating Online Sources

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The Learning Center

multidisciplinary tutoring center that provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their writing skills with a focus on sharpening the ability to convey ideas clearly to an intended audience.

Visit the Learning Center for information about DLAs, Staff and Turnitin.

Tutors go on outreach so their availability changes every week. Their emails are listed on the Staff page for you to contact them and make an appointment.

The DLA page contains learning activities and PowerPoint presentations to help you with writing in APA or MLA style.

How to Evaluate Online Sources

How to Evaluate Online Sources

In the world of online research, it has become crucial to develop the skill of evaluating sources. Evaluating electronic sources can be challenging, given the fact that anyone can publish material online. 

Before going online to do your research, remember that content in the virtual library has already been vetted and will always be credible and available to you free of charge. The Virtual Librarians recommend starting your research in the library.

The OWL at Purdue is an excellent website for all things related to academic research and writing.

You can visit their page on evaluating print vs. internet sources to examine points to consider when evaluating online sources.

Beware of FAKE NEWS! Read these posts from the EasyBib blog called 10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Article and Identifying Fake News: An Infographic and Educator Resources

Read a recent Stanford History Education Group report on Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.

View this handy tutorial from IRIS Information Literacy Tutorials on Scholarly Journals & Articles. 


The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is an established, well used test by researchers. The CRAAP test was developed by librarians at CSU Chico. The New Jersey Institute of Technology Libraries has adapted the CRAAP test and put together a page called How to Evaluate Information Sources: CRAAP Test.


  • The timeliness (publication date, revision history) of the information.
  • Broken links or an old publication date indicates the page has not been updated recently.


  • The importance of the information for your needs.
  • Consider your audience and compare with a variety of sources.


  • The source (author, publisher, sponsor) of the information.
  • Check for contact information and the credentials of the author.


  • The reliability (source, evidence, truthfulness) of the information.
  • Think about the source and look for evidence of bias or error.


  • The reason (teach, sell, entertain) the information exists.
  • Identify the type of information (fact or opinion) and the intent of the author.

Amends the core information from How to Evaluate Information Sources: CRAAP Test. New Jersey Institute of Technology Libraries. Retrieved October 29, 2018 from:

Website Domains




Commercial sites, ads, business info, shopping, news



Personal websites



School info, links to libraries & departments



Non-profit information, interest group agendas, influencers of public opinion



Internet service providers, sponsored personal sites



U.S. government sites


Jeff Hancock: The Future of Lying

Shared with permission as per the TED Talks Usage Policy. TED is the original source of this material. 


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