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Using the CARS Checklist to Evaluate Web Sites
A Website that is Credible, Accurate, Reasonable, and Supported (CARS) should meet the following criteria:
- The Source is trustworthy; you would consider a print version to be authoritative.
- The argument and use of evidence are clear and logical.
- The author's or sponsor's credentials are available.
- Quality control is evident.
- The source is known or respected authority; it has organizational support.
- The site is updated frequently, if not daily.
- The site provides evidence for its assertions.
- The site is detailed; text appears in full paragraphs.
- The site is comprehensive, including archives, links, and additional resources. A search feature and table of contents or tabs allow you to quickly find the information you need.
- The site's purpose includes completeness and accuracy.
- The site is fair, balanced, and objective.
- The site makes its purpose clear.
- The site contains no conflict of interest.
- The site does not include fallacies or slanted tone.
- The site lists scholarly or otherwise reliable sources for its information, providing links where available.
- The site clarifies which content it is responsible for and which links are created by unrelated
- The site provides contact information for its authors and/or sponsors.
- If the site is an academic resource, it follows the conventions of a specific style (MLA, APA, or another accepted style).