CARS Checklist for Research Source Evaluation
by Dr. Robert Harris

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: asource that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives thewhole truth.
Reasonableness Fair, balanced, objective, reasoned, no conflict of interest, absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subjectthoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.
Support Listed sources, contact information, available corroboration, claimsSupported, documentation supplied. Goal: a source that providesConvincing 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 faculty member Robert Harris’s Home page at