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Research Fundamentals: Step 3: Evaluating your information

Beginning that assignment...

Read the Abstract

Read the Abstract/Summary first. This will help you determine whether the full content/article will be relevant.

What is peer-review?

A peer-reviewed article has been critically assessed by other scholars/academics within the field of study, prior to publication.

The process helps to ensure that published work meets a high standard of scholarship and quality that is accurate within the field of study.

Evaluating web resources

The internet provides access to seemingly unlimited amounts of information, however, much of it will not be appropriate for your research purposes.
To learn more about information quality on the web, explore the many web-based checklists of evaluation criteria.  Here is an example.

Tips for evaluating your information

Once you begin to find information, you need to evaluate it to ensure it is appropriate for your research. 

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Reliability of the source: is it from a scholarly journal, textbook, trade publication?
  • Authority of the author: qualifications, experience, affiliated with an institution?
  • Accuracy of the information: references listed? spelling/grammar consistent?
  • Currency/Timelinessis the information current/up-to-date/historical information?
  • Point-of-view: is a particular viewpoint expressed? Is there bias/opinion presented?