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HC 317: Bacterial Symbiosis: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources video by Western University Libraries.

Scholarly vs. Popular infographic posted by Spokane Falls Community College Library.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles video by Jessup Library at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles tutorial by Wayne State University Libraries.


It is important to evaluate all sources you find especially those on the web.  The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find.  Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

Download a PDF version of the CRAAP Test

Pop Quiz

Can you evaluate sources with the CRAAP Test?  Take this pop quiz to find out.


Review the six sources using the corresponding tabs in this box.

Assign the source a rating (traffic light color) based on the CRAAP Test.

Green = Proceed
Yellow = Caution
Red = Stop

Source:  Austin Community College Library Services. (n.d.). Is it CRAAP? Retrieved from

GMWatch. (2019, September 11). Genetically engineered mosquitoes out of control. Retrieved from

Porterfield, A. (2019, September 23). Oxitec’s GMO mosquitoes spread their genes in the wild? Separating science from hype after controversial new study. Retrieved from

Reitmayer, C., Tng, P., & Alphey, L. (2019, August). Engineering transgenic mosquitoes to prevent disease transmission. Microbiology Today. Retrieved from

Koski, M. (2017, January 11). White nose syndrome and bats in the United States. Retrieved from

O'Neil, K. (2019, July 15). Spraying bats with good bacteria may combat deadly white nose syndrome. Science News. Retrieved from

Hoyt, J. R., Langwig, K. E., White, J. P., Kaarakka, H. M., Redell, J. A., Parise, K. L., ... Kilpatrick, A. M. (2019). Field trial of a probiotic bacteria to protect bats from white-nose syndrome. Scientific Reports, 9, 1-9.

Source 1

Red = Stop

GMWatch is an anti-GMO group and the information is based on a controversial study. 

There are issues with Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose in the CRAAP Test.

Source 2

Yellow = Caution

This source is more balanced than the previous but may be too focused on explaining the controversy from a scientific perspective. 

There may be issues with Relevance and Purpose in the CRAAP Test.

Source 3

Green = Proceed

This source is an online article in Microbiology Today which is a magazine published by the European Microbiology Society.

There are no issues with the criteria in the CRAAP Test.

Source 4

Red = Stop

This source is authored by a bat removal specialist who may not be qualified to write on the topic.

There are issues with Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose in the CRAAP Test.

Source 5

Green = Proceed

This source is an online article from Science News which is a popular science magazine (secondary).

There are no issues with the criteria in the CRAAP Test.  However, it may be better to use the primary source below.

Source 6

Green = Proceed

This source is a primary journal article cited in the previous secondary magazine article.

There are no issues with the criteria in the CRAAP Test.

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