Michael Gerber
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Trustworthy? Anybody read it? Still in my to-read pile

Those of you not subscribed to comment updates (and why not?) might have missed the discussion smoldering over on the “Paul Better Than John” post. Thanks to all who are chiming in, it’s what makes this site great. The rest of you, please comment! We’re still not as lively as we were on the crappy old Blogger site, for reasons I’m not quite sure of, but am determined to address.

Loyal commenter @Karen writes:

“Our recent conversation about Lewisohn and his conclusions about the Blackpool incident got me thinking about a checklist (called C.A.R.S) used in academic circles to examine the veracity of data sources when conducting research.

I thought it might provoke an interesting discussion on Hey Dullblog in terms of who does or does not pass muster on all or some of the criteria.”

So here’s the CARS Checklist:

1. CREDIBILITY:
•Is there sufficient evidence presented to make the argument persuasive?
•Are there compelling arguments and reasons given?
•Are there enough details for a reasonable conclusion about the information?

2. ACCURACY:
•For whom is the information intended?
•Are there assertions that are vague or otherwise lacking detail?
•Are there sweeping rather than qualified language (that is, the use of always, never, every, completely rather than usually, seldom, sometimes, tends, and so forth)?
•Is the view very one-sided and does not acknowledge opposing views or respond to them?

3. REASONABLENESS:
•Is there an intemperate tone or language?
•Are there overclaims?
•Are there sweeping statements of excessive significance?
•Does the writer have a conflict of interest?

4. SUPPORT:
•What sources did the writer use?
•Are the sources listed in a bibliography or other documentation?
•Has the writer indicated what data he/should used to make a specific claim?

So what do you think, Beatle-people? Who do you trust/not trust? In general the list seems to have Lewisohn at one end, and Goldman at the other, with Norman down towards the untrustworthy end, and people like Spitz, Gould, and Hertsgaard towards the trustable one.