There are two major types of periodical: scholarly or popular.
Popular periodicals are the kind you would buy to read for fun. They may have some value for research, depending on the topic, but they are usually not the preferred type of resource for research papers.
Scholarly periodicals are written for and by people who work in academics: professors, researchers, undergraduate or graduate students. This type of article is best suited for your research because it is reliable and authoritative.
If you find a website that you think might be useful for your assignment, use this list as an evaluation tool. This is just a starting point—you may find more points to consider as you become more comfortable with evaluating your sources. Some of these points are worth keeping mind as you evaluate articles, too.
The CRAAP test was originally created by librarians at Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.
|Scholarly journals||Popular magazines|
|Authors||Articles are written by authorities in the field||Articles are usually written by professional writers or journalists|
|Sources||Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies||There are rarely bibliographies|
|Audience||Aimed at scholarly readers (researchers, professors, or students)||Aimed at general population|
|Publisher||Often published by academic or association presses||Published by commercial (for profit) presses|
|Advertisements||Contains few to no advertisements||Contain numerous advertisements|
|Peer-review?||Most articles are reviewed by an author’s peers before publication to ensure high quality||Rare|
|Article scope||Journals usually have a narrow subject focus, and articles often include original research, reviews, or essays||Used to inform, update, or introduce a topic to a general reader|
|Graphics||Illustrations often consist of charts or graphs||Numerous colorful illustrations and/or photographs are usually present|
|Language||Articles use jargon of the discipline||Language is geared to general population; no special knowledge is required|
|Examples||American Journal of Botany, The Academy of Management Journal, Social Research||Runner's World, Ebony, Time|