How to evaluate articles
- Who is the author and what is their expertise in the subject area? Have they written on the same subject before?
- Are they affiliated with a research institution?
- Who is the publisher and what are their credentials?
- When was the article published?
- Do you only need the most recent articles? If so, you may choose to limit your search by date.
- The contents of scholarly articles are summarized in the abstract. Read the abstract to make sure that the article is related to your research topic.
- Is the article written to prove something (empirical research), persuade the reader, or describe a phenomenon? An abstract typically states the purpose of the article.
- Is the paper scholarly (peer-reviewed)?
- Does the article provide a detailed list of references? Scholarly and peer-reviewed research articles always include a bibliography or reference list of works consulted by the author and have clear in-text citations or footnotes about the sources used in the article.
- Sources must be clearly indicated. There should be no question about who is responsible for the information, and where the information is coming from.
- Avoid articles that contain spelling or grammatical errors.
- Be aware of any bias on the part of the author or publisher, especially from non-scholarly sources such as newspaper editorials and opinion pieces.