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Evaluating Specific Resources


Where: Refers to the kind of source you used to obtain your information.

Not all sources are created equally, and depending upon your research goals, WHERE you get your information is an important consideration when seeking academic credibility. Where was the information published? Was it in a newspaper? Academic journal? Trade magazine? Was it from a university website or a personal blog?

It's important to ask:

  • Does the source contain accurate information or are there errors?
  • Does the source use reliable/trustworthy references to support the claims? 
  • Has the source gone through a peer review process? Keep in mind that a source doesn't need to be peer reviewed to be reliable. However, peer reviewed sources are often written by scholars or professionals who are considered experts in their fields, and the material is intended for a specific audience (usually other scholars or professionals).
  • The purpose of these resources is to inform and report original research.
  • Is there evidence to support the conclusions made by the research?  Is the research methodology/design clear?
  • Does this source align with other sources that discuss this topic? 
  • Does the information seem complete or are facts missing?

Additional Internet Source Consideration:

What kind of site is it? 

  • .com (commercial)
  • .edu (academic institution)
  • .gov (government agency)
  • .org (Keep in mind that .org sites can be from either for-profit or non-profit sites)