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Fake Online Information v. Real Online Information: Reading a Website

When we search for information using a search engine, sometimes our results consist of a lot of junk! This guide is to assist you with using the CRAAP test to identify what is junk/fake information and what is real.

Reading a Website

Applying the CRAAP Test (Currency-Relevancy-Authority-Accuracy-Purpose) to reading a website takes a few seconds but saves you the trouble of spending too much time on an unreliable website.

*Don't know the CRAAP Test? Click here!*

Example 1

Website: EPA.Gov -U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1. Currency: Recent reports have all been written within the past year, it's current!

2. Relevancy: The website is on my research topic!

3. Authority: EPA is the U.S. government agency responsible for researching environmental issues (

4. Accuracy: Government information is reviewed for accuracy prior to publication. It is often used by academic and business work/research and reproduced in other publications/websites.

5. Purpose: To inform and educate.

Results: REAL information!

Example 2


1. Currency: No date.

2. Relevancy: Yes, it relates to my research topic.

3. Authority: Nothing is known of the author. The website is a .com, which means it’s a commercial website with advertisements to sell you things.

4. Accuracy: No references made for where information came from.

5. Purpose: The agenda of the information is to inform for the purpose of change, i.e. there is a motive behind the information.

Results: Junk! Toss it out!


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