4.1 Evaluating Sources

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.

PsycInfo Record Methodology Information

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 Disorders44, 120-136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1856-1
PsycInfo Methodology Information
To learn more about research methodologies, please consult the SAGE Research Methods database.

Please see the next chapter to learn about how to cite sources in APA style.

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