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Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Credibility

Evaluating the credibility of a resource is vital to researching at an academic level.  But it is also helpful to know what to look for when evaluating things you see everyday, such as commercials, advertisements, news reports, etc.

When evaluating the credibility of a resource the most important aspects to inspect are:

  • Who published it?
  • Who wrote it?
  • For whom is it written?
  • Is the information current?
  • Does the author provide their sources?
  • What type of publication is it?
  • How is it reviewed?
  • Is there any bias?

Credibility of Sources Hierarchy Infographic Least Credible - Unreviewed Sources, then Editorially Reviewed Sources, the Most Credible - Peer-Reviewed Sources

Peer-Review Process

Peer Review Process:

  • A scholar/author writes an article and submits it to the editor of a journal or book.
  • The editor sends it to other scholars who are at least the academic peers (equals) of the author in that field.
  • The reviewers review the article, then tell the editor whether they think it’s good enough to be published in that journal or what should be changed.
  • The editor tells the author the verdict: Accepted, Rejected or Revise and resubmit.

URLs Can Help Determine Credibility

The domain extension in a URL for a website can help determine if the site is credible.  Below is a chart that can help but always double check the information you are using before including it in a research paper or project.

More Reliable

Evaluate Closely

Domain Extension Represents Domain Extension Represents
.edu Education .com Commercial
.gov Government .org Organization
.mil Military .net Network

 

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