The CRAAP Test is used to evaluate the quality and relevance of information sources. Keep the following questions in mind when deciding whether or not to include a source in your research:
|Currency||Relevance||Authority||Accuracy||Purpose / Point of View|
A domain is a name that defines a "realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control" online (Wikipedia, 2015). nice.org.uk is a domain. We trust content from nice.org.uk because it is the official site of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. An extension is included at the end to further define the purpose and/or geography of the site. nice.org.uk is an organization (.org) based in the United Kingdom (.uk).
A path follows the domain and describes where you are going on a website. /guidance/conditions-and-diseases suggests you will view guidance on a variety of conditions and diseases if you follow the exact URL or web address:
You’ve been having sciatic nerve pain in your back. Your mom decides to help and shares some sciatic nerve exercises with you on Facebook. The exercises look complicated and there are ads all over the webpage. You looked at the Facebook comments, and an apparent physiotherapist warns the exercises are not appropriate. Is this person a real physiotherapist? What should you do?
If you can, ask your health care provider if the interventions you are using are appropriate. In regards to online exercise videos, local physiotherapists offer these tips:
You love inspirational quotes. You share them with your friends on Facebook and Instagram, and they share with you. A friend recently shared an image quote that was hard not to agree with, "It costs 0$ to have a positive attitude", and was signed in the lower right corner by a guy named David Pear Dog. You click on the meme and it brings you to David Pear Dog's Facebook page. He sure seems to know a lot about superfoods!
Find out where or who the information you are sharing is coming from. Who is David Pear Dog? Does he have a Wikipedia page? What are the top Google results when you search for him? You just might find he has no reputable presence online, or you may find that his intentions and knowledge are challenged by reputable sources.
Many sources of memes, tip videos or quizzes are collecting any personal information they can or using your visits to their sites to profit from advertising. Be mindful when you share things that seem harmless, as their creator may have another intention if you dig a bit deeper.