1 Evaluating Information

Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter you will :

  • Understand the importance of evaluating information
  • Evaluate resources and information for your research
  • Evaluate journals and understand Journal Impact Factors
  • Understand how science is presented and sometimes misinterpreted in the media

Why do we evaluate information?

We evaluate information to make sure that we are using the best resources in our research. Over 3 million research articles are published a year1. With so much information out there, it is important to critically examine each resource before you use it in your work.

We want to find information is high quality and relevant.

This section will teach you what to look for when you are evaluating resources.

Why is this important?

Though most journal articles contain reliable information, not all journal articles have the same level of quality and some can have bad information. That is why we need to examine every article critically.

Look at the following slideshow for examples of why an article may not be reliable:



  1. International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. (2018). STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly publishing (5th edition). https://www.stm-assoc.org/2018_10_04_STM_Report_2018.pdf


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Advanced Library Skills for Physics Research by Lauren Stieglitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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