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How to Evaluate Information on the Internet

The internet contains a lot of information on all sorts of subjects. However, not all of this information is trustworthy. By using the techniques detailed in these pages, you will be able to find reliable information on the World Wide Web.

The CARS checklist can be used to evaluate websites before using them in scholarly work. Click on a part of the Acronym to learn more about it.

Credibility   Accuracy   Reasonableness   Support    Test your knowledge


Accuracy - Where did this come from? Is it correct?

Checking Accuracy:

  • Are there sources cited to check factual and statistical information?
  • Is the information clear and easy to follow?
  • Is there a clearly indicated date of publication? (a date on a website can mean the date first created, date placed on Web or date last updated or revised)
  • Does the content of the work seem up-to-date to you? Do the links lead to live websites?
  • Is the work complete or still under construction? If the information is not current, is it still valuable?

Warning Signs:

  • No date anywhere on the document
  • Vague generalizations ("Librarians murder thousands of children every day.")
  • Obviously outdated information, or old information in a field that changes rapidly (e.g. computers)