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Getting Started with Research: An Overview of the Process

A guide through the library research process. Contact a librarian for more!

Step 4 - Why evaluate sources?

Green document icon from Noun ProjectEvaluating sources is an important step of the research process. The evidence you choose to use for your research should accurately support what you are trying to argue and it should lend credibility to your work. If you cherry pick your sources, or find quotes that "kind of" fit in your paper, that can have the opposite effect.

How to Read a Scholarly Article (Video Tutorial)

Check out this short video from Western University on how to read a scholarly article.

Evaluating Your Sources (Video Tutorial)

Check out this short video from UNC Libraries on how to evaluate your sources of information.

Evaluating with 6 Question Words Infographic

6 Question Words

Long description of "Evaluating Information" for web accessibility

Thanks to IUPUI University Library for allowing reuse of this graphic under a Creative Commons license.

Is your Journal "Peer Reviewed" or "Refereed"?

How can I be sure my journal article is scholarly?

Many databases offer the option to search for "peer-reviewed" journal articles - those are academic articles reviewed by the authors' peers for accuracy during the editing and publishing process.

If you are using a database that does not have this filter option, or if you find an article citation somewhere else, you can check if the article was published in a "peer-reviewed" journal or magazine by using Ulrichsweb.

  1. Search for your journal or magazine by title
  2. Look for a little black and white striped referee jersey icon next to its name Referee jersey icon from Ulrichsweb serials directory 
  3. The Content Type will say "Academic/Scholarly"

Ulrichsweb screen shot of journal entry

Step 4 - Pause to Reflect

Person icon with thought bubbleWhen evaluating sources of information for accuracy and credibility, there are many aspects of the source that you can consider.  One source that might not fit your research question could still be useful to someone else, so it's not helpful to think about "good" or "bad" sources. Most importantly, if a resource is from a trustworthy author or organization and helps you answer your research question, then you have identified a useful source. Please contact your instructor or a librarian if you would like more help!

University of Oregon Libraries
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97403-1299
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