How to Verify if a Source is Credible on the Internet

By Robin Reichert

Check your Internet sources to ensure that the information is credible and accurate.
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The Internet is a vast public electronic network of information. Many commercial, academic and government websites provide access to information, services, products, laws and advice. No system of checks and balances are available to assure users of the accuracy of information found on the Internet. Millions of people contribute to information on the Internet, which is constantly changing, added to and deleted. Use the credibility, accuracy, reasonableness and support (CARS) method of verification when relying on information found on the Internet.

Step 1

Determine the credibility and reliability of the information by identifying the source. Research the name of the writer or the organization to determine if it is a well-known and respected authority on the subject of your research.

Step 2

Compare the information provided by your source with other reliable sources to verify accuracy. Check facts and data provided in an Internet source with information from trusted sources, such as government agencies and universities. Look for a complete and comprehensive presentation of data and facts.

Step 3

Read the information objectively to determine if the information is presented in a balanced, reasonable and unbiased manner. Look for possible bias in the information presented and claims or assertions that seem unreasonable. Note any conflict of interest that may have influenced the assertions by the writer.

Step 4

Look for citations that support the claims and assertions made by the writer. Follow the links provided to verify that the citations in fact support the writer's claims. Look for at least two other credible citations to support the information.