Skip to Main Content

Research Guides

FAH198: Shocking Artists, Shocking Art

Evaluate your Sources


You may start with a Wikipedia or a commercial website to get basic familiarity with a concept - but don't stop there.

Credible, appropriate sources will add great value to your conceptual design and scholarly arguments, but how do you evaluate credibility? Follow the guidelines provided by your course instructors and you can also use the CRAAP Test to evaluate materials (both print and digital, including news, media, and websites). CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.  


  • When was the material produced?
  • Does it exist in any other formats (e.g. a print document that was made available on the web)?
  • Is it up to date?
  • Has it been revised? If yes, when? Is it updated regularly?


  • Is it related to the topic at hand?
  • Does it answer any of your questions?
  • Does it bring up new questions?


  • Who created the material?
  • Are they affiliated with any (other) relevant groups or organizations?
  • Can you verify the credentials provided?
  • Can you easily find information about the author online?


  • Can you verify any theories/statistics/data provided?
  • What are the sources of any theories/statistics/data provided?
  • Are artworks, charts and tables clearly labeled and easy to read?
  • Is there any information about the methodology used in gathering statistics/data provided or analyzing artworks and topics?


  • What type of document is it? (Different types of documents each have their own purpose)
  • Why was the material produced?
  • What biases are evident?