The following video tutorial on evaluating information will go through the questions to ask to determine the reliability of the sources you find.
Determining whether a journal is popular or scholarly is one possibility in limiting your search to more reliable sources. The video on popular and scholarly sources provides a good overview of the characteristics of both types of sources and suggests tools for knowing whether a journal is academic or popular, peer-reviewed/refereed or not.
Ulrich’s database mentioned in the preceding video tutorial has descriptive information about most journal titles and will tell you whether a journal is peer-reviewed/refereed. Ulrich’s is accessible by searching the UofA Library’s list of databases.
Assessing a source’s research methodology is also a good strategy. In the sample PsycInfo record below taken from a peer-reviewed journal, one can see that the article is an empirical study using quantitative methods in a child population located in Canada. Information about the tests and measures used is also available.
|Ouellette-Kuntz, Helene, Coo, Helen, Lam, Miu, Breitenbach, Marlene M, Hennessey, Paula E, Jackman, Paulette D, et al. (2014). The changing prevalence of autism in three regions of Canada. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 120-136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1856-1|
Please see the next chapter to learn about how to cite sources in APA style.