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Evaluating Sources

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Kara Kiblinger

on 20 February 2014

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Transcript of Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources
Scholarly Journals
Lengthy articles (10 pages+)
Written by academics
Many references and citations given
Does not contain ads
Few, if any, photos - mostly charts and graphs
Geared towards experts and scholars in the field
More than likely will have refereed or peer-reviewed articles
Questions or Comments?
Anything you'd like to ask or add? Anything at all?
If you do have additional questions, we are available to help via email, phone, IM, etc.
General Guide to Determining Evaluating Sources
Why Evaluate Sources, and Types of Sources
Popular Magazines, Trade Publications, and Scholarly Journals
Preferred Academic Sources, and How to Find Them
Using Ulrichsweb
Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Sources
Tips to Fall Back On
Wrap Up
Questions or Comments?
Popular Magazines
Brief articles (5 pages or less)
Typically written by journalists
Few, if any, references or citations given
Likely contains ads
Likely contains photographs
Geared towards general public (e.g. Everyone)
Examples of Popular Magazines:
Vanity Fair
Reader's Digest
Even semi-academic sounding works like Forbes, Time, Fortune
Visit GMU Libraries online at library.gmu.edu
to learn more!
Why Evaluate Sources?
of Scholarly Journals
New England Journal of Medicine
International Small Business Journal
Psychological Review
Trade Publications
Using Ulrichsweb
Quick Warning
Wrap Up: What Did We Learn?
What is 'refereed' or 'peer-reviewed'?
It is important to evaluate each article individually as scholarly and peer-reviewed journals can contain a variety of other items such as book reviews and editorials.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Evaluating Sources
To provide an accurate and credible base for academic work
To contribute to the overall quality and depth of research in a particular field
The evaluation of an article or other work by peers in that field.

Example: If I were a microbiologist, and wrote an article, I would submit this research to a group of other microbiologists. They would evaluate this research, and if accepted, would publish the article.
This serves as a quality control for research.
Is the information current?
Who is the author of the material? What are their qualifications?
Does the information seem accurate? Is it valid and well-researched?
Is it impartial?
Does it seem reasonable? Does it fit with other articles found in your research?
Is the information relevant to your topic? Is it information worth citing?
Why is it Important to Choose Good Sources?
What Types of Sources Can be Used in Academic Writing?
Government Documents
Articles from Journals and other Publications (Print as well as Electronic)
Multimedia, etc.
What types of sources are available
What are Scholarly Journals and what 'peer-reviewed' means
How to use the library website and Ulrichsweb to determine if a periodical is 'peer-reviewed'
How to evaluate sources to determine the best article to use in your writing
Think critically and evaluate the sources you are using.
If a source seems 'iffy' consider getting a better source - cite a credible source before others.
Tips to Fall Back On
Which Type to Use?
Brief articles
Written by professionals
Contains industry-specific information
May include common terms or technical jargon specific to that profession or trade
Targeted audience are members of a specific business or industry
Of the three types of works mentioned, which type would you want to use in your writing? Which type do you think is preferred?
While any source can be used if appropriate - Scholarly Journals are generally considered the backbone of academic research and writing. Within these journals, 'Peer-Reviewed' or 'Refereed' journals and articles are often preferred because they are held to a higher standard of review.
How Do I Find These Magical 'Peer-Reviewed' Sources?
Visit the GMU Libraries website, search for articles on your topic, and limit your search to 'Peer-Reviewed Journals.'
Database searches also usually allow you to limit to 'Peer-Reviewed' journals and articles.
Example of a Article in a Scholarly Journal
Full transcript