Can your Content Pass the CRAAP Test?

There’s tough competition for organizations that are trying to provide audiences with meaningful, helpful content.

False information spreads “farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth,” according to a 2018 study by MIT Sloane researchers.

Getting honest information – delivered through blog posts, article, eBooks and other forms of content – to be heard by our audiences is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge.

Organizational leaders and communicators might want to take a lesson from our colleges and universities. As the dangers of misinformation and disinformation escalate, these institutions are reminding students about the importance of information accuracy. They are also providing tools to help them differentiate between dependable and misleading sources of information.

The CRAAP test is one such tool.

Developed by a librarian at the Meriam Library of the University of California,  CRAAP – an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose – is a checklist1 in the form of a series of questions to help determine whether information is reliable.

In this era of widespread misinformation and disinformation, to enable your audiences to determine for themselves the integrity of the content you share, check to see that it passes the CRAAP test, or one that is similar. Here are examples of questions to consider.

  • Currency – is the information you are sharing timely? Is this clearly communicated in the content?
  • Relevance ­ – is the information relevant to your audience’s needs? Is it presented at the appropriate level?
  • Accuracy – is it clear where the information comes from? Is it supported by evidence? Are the sources of third-party quotes, statistics, research or other information cited? Are they reputable and verifiable?  
  • Authority – Is the author or publisher of the information conveyed? Are they respected in this field? Are the author’s qualifications related to this topic provided? Have you supplied contact information?
  • Purpose – is the intent of the information clear, i.e. are you presenting facts to inform or educate? Or providing an opinion? Or are you trying to persuade, sell or entertain?

Want your audiences to trust your content?

Before sharing, check that it passes the CRAAP test.

1 Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test, Meriam Library & California State University, Chico, CA