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CUNE Research Toolkit

Resource Evaluation


Resource Evaluation is crucial to the research process. Finding resources that are trustworthy, reputable, and reliable is a staple of doing research well

Evaluating Sources

 Purdue Owl: Evaluating Sources
Tips to evaluate Bibliographic information, evaluation during reading, and print v. Internet

 Harvard Guide to Using Sources
A publication of the Harvard College Writing Program on resource evaluation

Tools for Evaluation

Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Resource from Ithaca College to walk you through the differences with examples

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article
Layout and design of a scholarly article, from North Carolina State University

Deconstructing a Research Article
A guide on how to understand scholarly articles and research

Evaluating Periodicals
​Looking at different types of periodicals more critically

Research Evaluation

What is Peer-Reviewed?

Academic journals publish articles that are submitted and reviewed by scholarly peers. Meaning articles are submitted to an editor, the editor sends the article to reviewers who read and evaluate it. Those reviewers are experts on the subject of the article. If verified it is submitted for publication. TL;DR - They do all the vetting, so you don't have to!


What is a Scholarly Source?

Scholarly sources can also be called "academic" "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" sources. Written by experts in the field and serve to help others who are interested in that field stay current in research, findings or news. These are great for research projects.


So, why use a Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed resource?

Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed/Refereed journals and articles provide authority and credibility to your paper or argument. The studies, methods, and conclusions used in these publications lend verifiable fact and credence to your work.


Break it down

Pay attention to these aspects of a resource to help evaluate it. Eventually your evaluations will take just a few seconds meaning you can spend more time reading the resource and writing your research paper!


  • Is an author even named?
  • (If so) are their credentials listed anywhere?
  • (If so) are the credentials relevant to the info? (i.e. Coach discussing recruiting or strategies)


  • Who is publishing this resource?
  • Is the publisher academic, scholarly, or a professional organization? (i.e. Harvard University or the APA)
  • Do they make the purpose of publishing this piece evident?


  • Who is the intended audience? (College/University level or middle school level)
  • Is it written for those with in-depth knowledge of the subject or the general public?


  • Why is this information being provided?
  • Are the sources cited?
  • Are conclusions based on evidence provided?
  • How long is the article?


  • What is the date of publication? (more important in certain fields than others, maybe required by class)


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