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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



Reasonableness

Reasonableness - What kind of page is this?

Checking Reasonableness:

  • What is the domain type? (.com, .gov, .edu, .org, etc.)
  • What is the purpose of the page? is the author advocating a point of view, marketing merchandise/services, educating or providing information, communicating news, entertaining, or providing personal information?
  • Does the page present controversial information? Are the opposing points of view represented or acknowledged?
  • Does the page contain advertising? If so, can you tell the promotional material from the information elsewhere on the page?

Warning Signs:

  • Insulting tone or language (e.g. "Annoying Librarians")
  • Sweeping statements (e.g. "Librarians are the most important people EVER!")
  • Conflict of Interest (e.g. "Welcome to the Society for Promoting Librarians. Click here to read our report on how librarians can help you live longer!")