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Research in a nutshell - NNPS: Evaluating resources

Basic evaluation criteria

As you decide which resources to include in your research, here are some things to think about:

  • Authority: Who wrote it? What sort of expertise do they have in this area?
  • Coverage: Is it relevant to your topic?
  • Objectivity: Is there any bias? If so, how much?
  • Accuracy: Is the information correct? Is it in alignment with other research findings or articles?
  • Currency: When was your resource produced? Does this matter for your topic?

What is Peer Review?

Peer reviewed articles may also be called "scholarly" or "refereed."  The term peer review refers to an editorial process in which experts from a particular discipline scrutinize articles before they are published by a journal.  Watch the video below for a good overview of what these articles are, and why you should know about and use them.

Many thanks to our friends at NC State University for creating such a fantastic video!

Indicators of reliability

So you've found a journal article that looks trustworthy. Where can you find information that will help you apply the basic evaluation criteria?

What IS a Scholarly Article?

For your assignments in this, and other, classes, you'll hear a lot about using "scholarly articles."  But what are they, and how do they fit into your though process as you decide which articles, books, or other resources to use in your research?  Watch the video below to get a better explanation!  Thanks to our friends at Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University for producing such fantastic videos!