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Library Research Tutorial

CAPPS Method of Evaluating Sources

Before you use any source of information, you should evaluate it with the five CAPPS Criteria:

  • Currency: Publication date or updated date.  Is the content current for your purposes?
  • Authority: What qualifies the content creator or author to produce information about the topic? What expertise do they have?
  • Publisher / Publication: What is the reputation of the publisher, publication, or organization providing access to the content?
  • Point of View: How the information is presented.  Objective or subjective?  Obvious bias?  Who is the intended audience?
  • Sources: Amount of evidence provided.  Reference list?  Experts interviewed?  Links to original sources?

Download the document below for specific evaluation criteria, questions to consider as you evaluate, and sources to assist in your evaluation:

Additional Resources for Evaluating Sources

For All Sources:

UW-Green Bay Libraries: Rate My Source

An interactive, step-by-step website that helps you decide if your source is reliable.

For Sources about Current Events:

Ad Fontes Media

Founded by patent attorney Vanessa Otero in 2018, Ad Fontes Media is a company with the mission "to make news consumers smarter and news media better." According to its website, Ad Fontes "uses a systematic approach to content analysis in which a team of politically-balanced professional analysts examine and categorize news content" in order to "[create] data that is useful to news consumers, educators, marketers, and even publishers themselves." This data is presented in their regularly updated Media Bias Chart


Founded in 2012, AllSides is a company that seeks to "free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world -- and each other." Founded by Joan Blades and John Gable (Gable is currently the CEO), AllSides offers a number of tools including a Media Bias Chart

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