PAF 9450: International Development - Prof. D'Souza


Research and evaluating sources is something we do in our everyday lives. This page will introduce some common evaluation techniques and strategies. However, it's important to note a few principles to help guide your evaluation.

Truth claims and analysis

You will often be evaluating a resource on two levels:

  1. Is this resource factually correct? Are the truth claims of this resource valid?
  2. Is the analysis offered around the factual evidence credible? For example, it is not unusual to see people arrive at different conclusions based on the same factual information. 

The strategies offered below can be applied to either of the two levels to varying degrees.

Familiarity with subject matter

It is difficult to evaluate a resource when you don't have much familiarity with the subject matter. However, we can't be experts in every single thing we want to evaluate. For areas you are less familiar with, you may be required to do a bit more background or parallel reading before feeling comfortable evaluating a source. 

Knowledge is iterative

Knowledge and understanding is iterative, experimental, and multidimensional. Don't treat any one source as the ultimate authority on a topic and be willing to explore and consider alternative perspectives. Your understanding of the topic will and should evolve as you expand your resources.

a puzzle in progress with some pieces scattered aroundPhoto by Jonny Gios on Unsplash


infographic for CRAAP test and the acryonym meaning

Image retrieved from a University of Torotnto Mississauga libguide

Currency: The timeliness of information.

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

Authority: The source of the information.

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.

Purpose: The reason the information exists

The CRAAP Test was designed by librarians at the Meriam Library California State University, Chico