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ENG 102, Rudolph, Allegheny: Scholarly, Peer Reviewed Sources

These resources will be useful for the research assignment for ENG 102.

Evaluating Articles

ARTICLES can originate from various periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.).

When evaluating ARTICLES for your research paper, use the following criteria and ask yourself:

  • OBJECTIVITY/PURPOSE:  Does the author have an agenda?  Why was the article written?
    Was the article written to inform, give evidence, teach, give an overview, or persuade?

    The purpose of the author in presenting ideas, opinions, or research may in part determine the usefulness of the resource. Does the resource show political, cultural or other bias? Are opposing points of view represented? Is this information verified in other resources? You may not be able to evaluate the objectivity of any single resource until you have looked at all your resources.  Even biased resources can sometimes be used, if you are aware of the bias.

    • Where to find bias in articles
      Articles may have information at the beginning or end of the article.  The credentials of the author may give you clues to bias.

  • CURRENCY/TIMELINESS: When was the material written?
    Some topics require current information, such as those in the health sciences and computers. Know the time needs of your topic. Is the article up-to-date, out-of-date, or timeless?
    • Where to find publication date for articles
      Date of publication should be clearly listed in the article and in the citation. Also, this information could possibly be found in the Library Catalog or in Library Databases
      date in article  
  • AUTHORITY/AUTHOR:  Is the author an expert in this field?  Where is the author employed?  What are his/her credentials?
    Where to find credentials for articles
    • Articles may or may not present credentials.   Popular magazines usually just list the author's name, but sometimes that may not listed.   Articles in professional or scholarly journals may list credentials at the beginning or end of an article, and usually include the name of the author with details that pertain to their expertise on the topic (such as education, occupation, or college/university where the author teaches).

      credentials in article 

  • ACCURACY/DOCUMENTATION:  Where did the author get his/her information?
    The amount and type of documentation used affects the value of the article, and may help you verify the facts or conclusions presented. Documentation usually consists of a bibliography/references, footnotes, credits, resources, or quotations. Resources that include documentation are considered more reliable and more suitable for college level research. Your instructors know that having documentation makes it easier to evaluate a work - that's why it is usually required for your research papers!
    • Where to find documentation
      Documentation is usually at the end of an article:
  • AUDIENCE:  For what type of reader is the author writing?
    This ties in with the type of periodical (your article is taken from).   Most popular magazines are geared to the general reader, while journals/trade publications are for specialists and researchers, scholars or experts in their fields.
    Is this article for:
    • general readers,
    • students (high school, college, graduate)
    • specialists or professionals,
    • researchers or scholars?
  • USEFULNESS:  Does the article contain the information you need?   Ask yourself "Is this article useful to me, to my paper?".
    • A well-researched, well-written article is not going to be helpful if it does not pertain to your topic.  If if is useful, does it: ​Usefulness can also depend on the type of periodical the article is taken from: a journal, magazine, or newspaper. For example, if your instructor specifically requires a scholarly article, a journal article would most likely be your choice.

      The chart below lists criteria that can be used to tell whether you have an article from a scholarly journal or from a popular magazine. Most of the criteria listed for scholarly journal articles can also be applied to books and Internet resources to help determine their value. The more criteria your resource has listed under the Scholarly Journals column, the more likely it will be a good resource
      • support an argument
      • refute an argument
      • give examples (survey results, case studies, etc.)


    Vanderbilt University


Scholarly vs. Popular Sources from   Spence School Libraries

Image: Spence School Libraries


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles in OneSearch

After your initial search, click the box on the left to limt your results to Peer Reviewed/ Or click on the journal name to determine whether a journal contains peer-reviewed articles.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles in OneSearch

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles in Ebsco Databases

Peer Reviewed Sources in Academic Search Complete

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles in Gale Databases

Peer Reviewed Sources in Gale Academic Onefile

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