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Evaluating Sources

Evaluate websites and other sources of information for relevance, accuracy, authority, purpose, and timeliness.

Evaluation is Essential

Evaluating the sources of the information you find, whether in print or digital format, is an essential aspect of doing research. The criteria for evaluation (relevance, accuracy, authority, purpose and timeliness) are interconnected. Take everything into account to determine how well the source addresses your specific needs. TRAAP is a useful way to remember the criteria. 

TRAAP - Criteria for Evaluation

birds escaping cage


Escape the information trap.

Credibility depends on Context

An information source's context--where it came from, its audience, format, and how it is used--help determine authority, appropriateness and relevance.

  • Students recognize that credibility may vary by context and information need.
  • Students understand the importance of critically assessing a source's credibility.
  • Students are able to identify how a credible source could be used for a particular need.

A CRAB - Evaluative Criteria

More information

Related STLCC Library Guides

Other Websites 

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000