Ridgeway Elementary
North Vancouver School District
Evaluating On-Line Resources

The Traap Test: Evaluating Information
Don't be trapped by sources--learn how to evaluate them!
(adapted from the Meriam Library, California State University, Chico)

Timeliness: The "newness" of the information

●      When was the information published or posted?

●      Have there been new versions or editions since this was published?

●      How quickly does new research for this topic come out?

●      Does new research expand upon or replace old information for this topic? 

​Relevance: The depth and importance of the information for you

●      Does this source help answer your question? Does only part of it help?

●      Is it covering all aspects of your topic or only parts?

●      How detailed is the information? Is it too basic for your needs? Too advanced?

​Authority: The source of the information

●      Who is the author? What can you find about her in the source itself or through a web search?

●      Is the author a professor or other expert? Does she have a degree related to the topic? Has she written on the topic previously?

●      Is the author drawing from her own personal experience?

●      Has the information been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor, fact checker, or through peer review? Was it self-published or posted on a personal site?


​Accuracy: The reliability and correctness of the information

●      Where does the information come from?

●      Does the author cite other sources? What does she cite?

●      For websites, did the author provide links to other sources? Do the links still work?

●      For studies, experiments, and other original research, does the author explain the methods she used to find her results?

●      Does the information in this resource agree with other resources you have found and your own personal knowledge?


​Purpose: The reason the information was created

●      Why did the author publish this source? Is she looking to inform, teach, advocate, sell, or entertain?

●      Who is the intended audience? Is this designed for general readers or academic readers?

●      What political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, personal or other perspectives does the author have?

●      What perspectives are not included within this resource, especially less privileged perspectives?