Evaluating sources is not a black or white process. Sources are usually not either "good" or "bad" though there are sources that the majority would agree are better or worse to use than others.
How you plan on using information also matters. Something you would share online with friends is not necessarily a source to use for an academic paper.
The SCRAAPP test is a modified version of the CRAP/CRAAPP test. Using SCRAAPP can help you think critically about sources. Some of the criteria will be more or less important depending on how you plan to use the information.
Self-Assessment: does the source confirm my own pre-existing beliefs?
Your own beliefs and assumptions about a topic will likely have an impact on what you think about a source. But when you're doing research, it's important to be open to ideas and evidence that challenges your beliefs.
Currency: how current is the information?
Relevance: does the source satisfy my information needs?
Authority: who created the information?
Accuracy: how accurate is the information?
Purpose: why was the information created?
Process: what effort went into creating the information?
When you encounter information online, follow these steps to determine the trustworthiness of a claim.
1. Check for previous fact-checking: Check these sites to see if an online article or claim has already been debunked:
2. Go upstream to the original source: Websites rarely contain original content. To determine the trustworthiness of information found online, try to find the original source of information.
3. Read laterally: Once you've found the original source of information, see what other people say about the author or publication. Do they have a good reputation?
4. Circle back: If you get stuck or find the claim is not trustworthy, start a new search using different keywords to find a different source and start the fact-checking process again.
To learn more, read Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers