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Research Process: Evaluating Sources

Tips from topic selection to evaluating sources to aid in the research process


Evaluating Sources

When evaluating sources, consider the following:

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators' expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required. 


Scholarship as Conversation

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations. 

Source Evaluation Methods

Peer Review

Prior to publishing a book or article that is considered scholarly, the research needs to be reviewed by one or more experts in the field. They may recommend it be published, give suggestions to strengthen the piece, or recommend that it not be published. You can limit your search to peer reviewed journals by checking the filter box in the library catalog and most databases.

Check out this great video from Steely Library NKU:

Source Evaluation Resources & Guides

Media Bias Chart

Graphic of new publications titles charted according to political viewpoint and level of accuracy

Differences between Magazines and Journals