Last Updated: Jun 27, 2023 Views: 11126

Evaluating a source by currency means that you are asking: Is the content presented current enough for your project?

When considering the currency of a source, ask yourself:

  • Was this source published recently or is it older? Does your research call for the use of very current sources (e.g. medical research) or can you use older sources (e.g. historical research)?
  • If you are evaluating a website or other frequently updated source, does the website list the date it was last updated and is the date current enough for your research?

Where should you look to determine the currency of a source?

Print & Database Sources

  • Date of publication (could be inside front cover of a book, on the detailed record of a resource, on the PDF of an article, etc.)


  • Look for the last date updated (could be anywhere on the webpage, often at the bottom)
  • Date of publication (if an article or blog from a website--could be near the title/author information)

What to avoid

  • Sources that have been published more than 5 years ago (unless doing research on a topic that requires examination of older materials - check with your professor if you're not sure how current your sources should be)
  • Websites with no "Last Updated Date" or a website with no updates in the past year

The C.R.A.A.P. Test was created by Sarah Blakeslee (University of California at Chico, Meriam Library). With her permission, this content was based off her original text with some modification.

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