Do you know how to tell the difference between a scholarly and a popular (i.e., non-scholarly) article? Check out the Scholarly Journal, Trade Magazine, & Popular Magazine guide for tips.
It is important to do some critical evaluation to decide whether what you find, particularly online sources of information, is appropriate and usable for your University research assignment. Questions asked when Evaluating Internet Resources, such as webpages, online videos, etc., provide useful guidance in determining the source, scope, currency, accuracy and bias of a site.
It is important to do some critical evaluation to decide whether what you find, particularly online sources of information, is appropriate and usable for your University research assignment. When you are evaluating a website, the methods linked from Evaluating Internet Resources provide useful guidance in determining the source, scope, currency, accuracy and bias of a site. Below is one outline for helping determine whether a website would be a credible source of information.
An Informational Web Page is one whose purpose is to present factual information. The URL Address frequently ends in .edu or .gov, as many of these pages are sponsored by educational institutions or government agencies.
Note: The greater number of questions listed below answered "yes", the more likely it is you can determine whether the source is of high information quality.
Criterion #1: AUTHORITY
Criterion #2: ACCURACY
Criterion #3: OBJECTIVITY
Criterion #4: CURRENCY
Criterion #5: COVERAGE
Copyright Jan Alexander & Marsha Ann Tate 1996-2005
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When you need to use popular and scholarly articles in your project, do you know how to tell which one is which? Identifying scholarly articles involves analysis of the article's content. The chart below is meant to help you in this process; any one criteria by itself may not indicate that an article is scholarly. For example, a 30 page photo spread about stars at the Academy Awards in People is probably not scholarly.
|Length||Longer articles, providing in-depth analysis of topics|
|Authorship||Author an expert or specialist in the field, name and credentials always provided|
|Language/Audience||Written in the language of the field for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students)|
|Format/Structure||Articles usually more structured, may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography|
|Special Features||Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs|
|Editors||Articles usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field (refereed or peer-reviewed)|
|Credits||A bibliography (works cited) and/or footnotes are always provided to document research thoroughly|
Check out the Scholarly Journal v. Popular Magazine Articles guide for the full tips. Adapted from chart created by Celita DeArmond.
Be sure to critically evaluate resources to decide whether to use them for your research assignment! While you are deciding on a topic and narrowing its focus, you may collect resources that you don't use in the end.
Below is the CRAAP test list of criteria for deciding whether a resource is information you should use, which I have borrowed (for educational purposes only) from Meriam Library @ California State University, Chico. Some of the criteria apply only to web sites, but others can be applied to any resource. When evaluating websites, methods linked from Evaluating Internet Resources may provide additional useful guidance in determining the source, scope, currency, accuracy and bias of a website.
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
Print copies of this checklist may be made and distributed provided that 1) They are used for educational purposes only and 2) The content of the page is reproduced here almost in its entirety. For any other use or for permission to make electronic copies, please contact the authoring library.
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