Skip to Main Content

Information Literacy: Evaluate Information

CARS Evaluation Method

Use the CARS Method for evaluating information.
Consider the following factors

  • Credibility
  • Accuracy
  • Reasonableness
  • Support

Scholarly Sources

What are Scholarly Sources? Scholarly Information

  • has been written by a scholar or expert in a specific field of knowledge
  • has often been reviewed by a board of experts in that field
  • includes extensive background information

A journal that has been refereed has been reviewed by an editorial board of experts in a field before being accepted for publication. It contains a list of references or bibliography of other notable sources.

 Here is a "in a nutshell view" of scholarly vs. popular information.

Evaluate information

Checklist for Evaluating Websites

Many sites on the Web are authored and created by non-experts and are not evaluated though any kind of filtering process.  You must learn an appropriate evaluation process to judge the quality and accuracy of information you find.  The following is an effective method.

AUTHORITY AND ACCURACY
It is important to find  out the author's identity,  qualifications and expertise to determine the credibility, reliability, and accuracy of information.

PURPOSE AND CONTENT
What is the purpose of the website?  Carefully analyze the content.  Is the information factual and unbiased or is it subjective, have an agenda, and biased?
What is the purpose?
-Is it a personal webpage? An organization? A company?  A scholarly information site?  A forum for educational or public service information? An advertisement?  For entertainment?
-Does the website provide factual, balanced, and objective information?
-Does the website seem to offer only subjective, biased, and opinionated information?

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR VERIFICATION
Is there a way to contact the author or webmaster?

CURRENCY
Is this the kind of website where updating of information is critical to provide the most current information? Some historical information websites do not require constant updates.
When was the site last updated, revised, or modified?

DESIGN, ORGANIZATION & EASE OF USE
These are important considerations. If a site lacks any of these factors it loses value and credibliity.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Judy Zebrowski
Contact:
Madigan Library
LIB137
jzebrows@pct.edu
570-320-2400 x4115

Librarian for the School of Business, Arts & Sciences
Business & Hospitality Division