It is important to find credible print and online resources for your research paper. Get into the habit of evaluating information, especially if you are using sources that you find on the Web where anyone can post a webpage. Ask yourself the following questions:
Currency Is the information recent, or have there been newer updates?
Relevancy Why are you choosing this resource? What is the scope? Is this resource general or specific?
Accuracy Is this information correct? Can it be verified? Is it complete? Is it cited? Is it peer-reviewed?
Authority Is the author, creator, qualifications, or organization clearly stated? What is their reputation? What
type of credentials do they have, and are they appropriate to your topic?
Purpose Who is the intended audience? Is the site trying to sell anything? What biases does the author have
and how do they affect the resource?
Purdue Libraries. (2020, November 4). Evaluating sources: How to evaluate sources [Video]. https://youtu.be/KYrMC8ZaKA8
There are many methods for evaluating information. Two of the more popular methods are the CRAAP (currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, purpose) test and CARS (credible, accurate, reasonable, support) evaluation method.
Snowden Library. Lycoming College. (2020, July 21). Evaluating online sources with the CRAAP test [Video]. https://youtu.be/Q8zRBdKlszE
The goal of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. The article undergoes the following process:
Is the journal in which you found the article published or sponsored by a professional society or association, or a university? Does it describe itself as a peer-reviewed publication?
Did you find a citation for it in one of your library's article databases that includes scholarly publications, i.e., Proquest Central?
In the database, did you limit your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed publications?
Is the topic of the article narrowly focused and explored in depth?
Is the article based on either original research or authorities in the field (as opposed to personal opinion)?
Is the article written for readers with some prior knowledge of the subject?
Is the article divided into sections with headings such as: Introduction / Theory or Background / Methods / Discussion / Literature review / Subjects / Results / Conclusion.
Search your library's article databases, many of which include peer-reviewed journals. To ensure that your results come from peer-reviewed or scholarly journals, do the following:
Read the description of the article database to determine if it features peer-reviewed articles.
On the database's search screen, look for a check-box that allows you to limit your results to peer-reviewed only.
If you didn't check off the "peer-reviewed articles only" box, look for an option that allows you to filter your results by resource type. For example, the database Proquest Central, provides an option for choosing "Scholarly Journals" in its "results" screen.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Lord Sealy Library. (n.d). Features of a peer-reviewed article. https://guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/evaluatingsources