Answered By: Kathryn Park
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2022     Views: 22

These steps will help you evaluate print as well as web and news sources. You can get more tips for spotting fake sitesfake news and media bias

Was the material reviewed, edited or fact checked for publication?

Reviewed or edited articles are more closely scrutinized for accuracy and value. Professional or scholarly journals have more reviewed and edited articles than popular magazines (see the chart below).

Where to find review/editing for articles or books

Check the front of the periodical or book for information on the editing, review and selection process for that periodical. Some databases such as Academic OneFile, Academic Search Complete and Research Library let you limit your search to scholarly or peer reviewed journals.

Where to find review/editing for web sites

Web sites may have this information at the beginning or end of a page or on the home page of the site, but are much less likely to have been reviewed. 

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 open access sources 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.

Scholarly Journals

Popular Magazines

Lengthy, detailed articles Brief articles
References and sources listed References and sources seldom given
Graphs, charts, usually no photographs Photographs
Articles written by an expert, always signed (author's name listed) Articles usually written by staff or freelance writer, frequently unsigned (author's name not listed)
Credentials of author listed Credentials usually unlisted
Aimed at people in the field Aimed at general public
Few or no ads Lots of Ads
May be peer reviewed Not peer reviewed

Scholarly JournalExample Scholarly Journals:

Journal of Applied Psychology

JAMA

Modern Fiction Studies

 

Popular MagazineExample Popular Magazines:

Fortune

Reader's Digest

People

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