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Nursing program: Research skills: Evaluating sources: C.A.R.S.

Provides starting points for research in TCC's Nursing Program

Evaluating sources: CARS checklist

Not all resources are created equal! There are a number of criteria to consider when determining whether or not a source is reliable (able to be trusted) and appropriate for your academic work. In the Nursing Program, you will use the CARS checklist for evaluating sources:

CREDIBILITY – How do you know the information and author are authentic and reliable?

  • What is the publishing or sponsoring organization?
  • What are the author’s credentials?
  • Is the author/producer an authority on the subject?
  • What is the author/producer’s contact information

ACCURACY - How do you know the information is up-to-date, factual, detailed, and comprehensive?

  • What is the date of publication or copyright?
  • Does the information on the site agree with other sources?
  • Does the information contradict itself?
  • How is the information relevant to your research needs?

REASONABLENESS – How do you know the information is fair, objective, moderate, and consistent?

  • What bias does the author, host or sponsor appear to have?
  • In what way is the information provided balanced?

SUPPORT – How reliable, accurate, reasonable and well-supported are the sources for your resource?

  • How many sources support the resource? Can you find them easily?
  • Pick one source and evaluate it with the CARS list. How credible, accurate, reasonable, and well-supported does it seem?

Additional factors to consider:

DESIGN & STYLE

  • Is the page layout visually pleasing?
  • How do the images enhance the message?
  • Is the language readable and understandable?
  • Are the grammar and spelling correct?

ELECTRONIC SOURCES

  • What is the purpose of the site? Is it clearly stated?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • Who is the intended audience of the site?
  • Are links provided to more information? What percentage of the links still work?

CARS handouts

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