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CARS: Evaluating Internet Sources
Transcript of CARS: Evaluating Internet Sources
Help! Where to find the information.
The internet is a quick way to find information. But just because it's fast does not mean it is best.
Make sure you are finding the best; that is
credible, accurate, reasonable
information for your research.
Use the CARS checklist to evaluate your source.
Is the author listed? Can you locate the publisher or sponsoring organization? If
NO AUTHOR or PUBLISHER,
this site is
MAY NOT BE USED
for your research.
Is the author an authority on the subject? Is the publisher an authority on the topic?
Is there contact information for author or publisher?
Does the author, publisher or sponsor have a bias?
Is the site concerned about the whole truth? Is the site fair, balanced and objective?
What is the purpose of the site? To sell, educate, advance a viewpoint or belief?
The information you are looking for should be easy to find. Look for the
at the top and/or bottom of the page.
Is the website comprehensive or well rounded? Does it intentionally leave out information?
What is the publication or copyright date of the information?
How recently was the site updated?
If it is not so easy you may need to lift the hood and look more thoroughly:
Find out about the publisher/organization by looking at the url, the domain name will usually tell you something about the organization's purposes (i.e. cnn.com, harvard.edu, bls.gov). There are no rules about which are good and bad but at least the domain will help you identify the publisher.
Information about the author or publisher may be on another page. Look for pages like
' or '
If the page your information is on is not the 'Home' page for the site, visit the '
A quick evaluation check on a website is to create your MLA citation for the resource.
Most of the elements you need to cite a web page (author, publisher, date, etc.) are the same elements you examine when evaluating a cite.
If too many are missing or not identifiable, you should be questioning the quality of the source.
You are now prepped
and ready to search...
the information highway
Does the author document the sources of his information?
Does the website document their sources? Is there a bibliography, references or links of sources?
Do other sources verify the information from this cite?
Adapted from work by Robert Harris & Andrew Spinks