The American Library Association wants to help you distinguish real news from fake with the help of CRAAP. If you’ve been a student in any capacity since the advent of the internet, you’re probably aware of the stigma around citing online sources in research papers and other academic pursuits.
Teachers and librarians have had to reconcile student interest in online sources ― and the relevancy those sources have to their lives ― with the fact that in the past, sites haven’t been as rigorously fact-checked as published books. To help students take a clear-eyed approach to internet research, librarians like American Library Association (ALA) president Julie Todaro use a resource called the CRAAP test, created by Meriam Library at CSU at Chico. A widely used information evaluation system, CRAAP stands for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose. According to the CRAAP test, a 20-year-old article written by a PR firm, for example, would be less valid than a three-year-old statement made by an American president in a published memoir. But now, due to President Donald Trump’s Twitter comments dismissing legitimate sources of information, including multiple attacks on The New York Times, the ALA is making some changes to the test’s criteria.