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FYS Gotta Have It: Exploring the Science of Addiction

The Biochemistry of addiction.


The CRAAP acronym for evaluating sources, particularly those found online. 


C - Currency  - When was the source published and does the date of publication meet the needs of the research topic?

R - Relevance - Does the information in the source directly apply to your research and help to support your thesis or research question? 

A - AuthorityThis is an important one when looking at online sources. Is the author / authors an authority on the topic? Is the publisher of the information trustworthy and reliable? If you aren't familiar with the publication or website, you should do some quick research on it to make sure it is a professional publisher. If the resource doesn't appear to be professional, could you find a better source elsewhere online or from a database?

A - AccuracyDoes the source cite or link to research that backs its claims or arguments? Are those resources also reliable or trustworthy? 

P - Purpose Is the source meant to inform or is its purpose to sell something or to entertain?

The CRAAP Test was developed by Meriam Library at California State University, Chico and is sharable via a CC License.

Online Resource Evaluation Exercise

An Alexa-Connected Toilet???

When you come across online research, outside of the library databases, you have to do some extra thinking and make sure you put your resource evaluation skills to good use. In pairs, you will use the CRAAP test to evaluate the following article about an Alexa-connected toilet:,news-28957.html 


Imagine you found the article online yourself and you're thinking of using it as a source for a presentation with your partner. Together you want to decide if you should use the resource. You can see that the date is listed for the resource. So it's fairly current. There is an author listed, and upon skimming its brief content, it also appears to be relevant to your project. 



I would like you to evaluate the authority, accuracy, and purpose of this source. Determine what exactly the Tom's Guide website is, if the information about the toilet is accurate, and what the purpose of the article is. If you determine that the info is accurate, is there a better source of this information that you can find online? Be prepared to share your process for approaching this task.

Tip: You might use Wikipedia to find more information on Tom's Guide. But you might also be able glean what the website is about from the website itself.

CRAAP Test Video

Etown College librarian Josh Cohen presents on how to use the CRAAP test to evaluate resources when doing research. The CRAAP Test was developed by Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.