Using CARS to Evaluate a Website:

Robert Harris’ CARS Checklist for Website Evaluation

Credibility
  • Trustworthy source
  • Author’s credentials
  • Evidence of quality control
  • Known or respected authority
  • Organizational support

Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.

Accuracy
  • Up-to-date
  • Factual
  • Detailed
  • Exact
  • Comprehensive
  • Audience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy

Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.

Reasonableness
  • Fair
  • Balanced
  • Objective
  • Reasoned
  • No conflict of interest
  • Absence of fallacies or slanted tone
  • Common sense

Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.

Support
  • Listed sources
  • Contact information
  • Available corroboration
  • Claims supported
  • Documentation supplied

Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (find at least two other sources that support it).

For further information, consult former VUSC faulty member Robert Harris’ home page at http://www.virtualsalt.com