The World Wide Web (WWW) and the OC Library collection make it is easy to obtain information. It is more difficult to identify reliable sources. Evaluate your information sources carefully to be sure you've selected material that is both trustworthy and appropriate for your assignnment.
Use this checklist to help you evaluate your sources:
|.||Scholarly Academic Publications||Popular Publications|
|Author||Written by an expert in the field of study (an academic or trained specialist)||Written by those without expertise in the field (a member of the public or journalist) or no author is stated|
|Date||Date of publication is provided||Popular publications, especially WWW publications, often do not give a date of publication|
|Publisher||Colleges/Universities, professional associations, scholarly publishers + research institutes||Commercial for-profit publishers or members of the public|
|Purpose||To report on experiments, theories, case studies + other research||To sell advertised products, inform, promote a point of view or entertain|
|Editing||Peer review by experts in the field||Review by a generalist (a magazine editor) or no review|
|Documentation||Sources used in the author's research are cited in a reference list or footnotes||Sources are rarely cited or are inaccurate|
|Other||Accurate spelling + grammar, few advertisements, logical + well written||
Spelling + grammar errors may occur, many advertisements, poor or variable writing quality
(Modified, original source UBC Library)
For more information:
Video from Vanderbilt University explaining the differences between journals and magazines
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