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Research Guides

Information Literacy & Library Research: Applying the CRAAP Test to Articles

Information literacy is the ability to know when information is needed and to be able to identify, locate and evaluate, and then legally and responsibly use and share that information.

Applying the CRAAP Test to Articles

When searching for articles in databases, such as Academic Search Ultimate, the CRAAP test can be used to quickly evaluate any potential articles by looking through the detailed record, which is found by clicking on an article's title.

Here is a break down of where you can find some of the information in Academic Search Ultimate:

Currency is found by looking at when the article was published.

By scanning the abstract, you can quickly see if the article is relevant, as the abstract is a summary of what the article is about.

Authority can be gauged by looking at the authors themselves. Are they qualified to be writing about this subject with this amount of detail? You can see their institutional affiliations near the bottom, and you can also click their names to see what other articles they have written. Googling their names and their affiliations can give you more information on their educational background as well.

Accuracy is all about if they've supported their arguments, so looking at the article itself to see if there are graphs and citations is a good idea. You can also click on the journal title to see if the journal is peer reviewed or not, which gives an additional layer of accuracy to the article.

If your notice the purpose is highlighted by the PDF Full text icon, this is because skimming the actual article, especially the introduction and conclusion, can be the best way to assess the purpose of the article and whether it will work for your purpose.

Breakdown of the detailed records using the CRAAP test.


The following video (5:20) will show how the CRAAP test can look when put into action, evaluating both a magazine article and a journal article.