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IF I APPLY: Evaluating Sources: CRAAP to IF I APPLY


In Fall 2021, the Research and Instruction department undertook a project to determine if there was an alternative method to the CRAAP test that we could use to teach students about evaluating sources. After reviewing multiple methods of source evaluation, the R&I Team determined that IF I APPLY from the Marshall University Libraries would fit our students' needs better. 

Benefits of IF I APPLY:

  • CRAAP, while a catchy and memorable acronym, does not provide nuanced questions for students to ask themselves
  • IF I APPLY adds in the idea of personal bias and steps researchers should take to bring a more holistic take on their topic
  • CRAAP does not consider diverse perspective or ways of knowing
  • The CRAAP test was developed for evaluating web resources and does not address the need to evaluate academic, governmental, and news sources. IF I APPLY can also be used to evaluate web sources in a more nuanced manner. For example, .org websites are not always credible sources of information. 

CRAAP Test - Evaluation Criteria

The CRAAP Test is a set of five evaluation criteria and related questions to help guide thinking about whether a source is credible or not.  CRAAP is an acronym for:






The CRAAP Test is not intended to be a checklist or rating system. Judgment is necessary to decide whether an article is credible or not. Evaluating criteria for quality becomes easier with practice.

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