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PSY 5198 - MAPR: Evaluate

Psychology Grad Program Guide

Types of Resources

Scholarly periodicals (journals and peer-reviewed journals) 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. Many of these are peer-reviewed.

Conference Proceedings are a great place to find cutting edge research - if the conference is scholarship-based (rather than trade-based), you can expect to find cutting-edge scholarly ideas.  Search in scholarly periodicals for further articles about an idea or theory you find in conference proceedings.

Theses and Dissertations are written by students, and while you should not use their work, you can definitely mine them for citations and testing instruments.

Scholarly books can be written by one or more authors, or an edited book with each chapter written by a different author(s).  Check out the author's credentials to be sure of their authority.



If you have a journal and you need to check if it is peer reviewed, use the Ulrich's Periodical Directory database.

  • Enter the name of the journal in the search bar, then look for the little referee's jersey icon or the line that says "Refereed: Yes." "Refereed" is just another way of saying "peer reviewed," so if you see either or both of those things, your journal is peer reviewed.
  • If you don't see the icon or if the description of the journal says "Refereed: No," that journal is not peer reviewed.

Evaluating Websites

Used with great thanks to the University of Oregon Libraries

S.I.F.T: Evaluate Information in a Digital World Fact Check your Feed      Stop         Do you know the website or source of information? Start with a plan. Check your bearings and consider what you want to know and your purpose. Usually, a quick check is enough. Sometimes you'll want a deep investigation to verify all claims made and check all the sources.     Investigate the Source         Know the expertise and agenda of your source so you can interpret it. Look up your source in Wikipedia. Consider what other sites say about your source. A fact checking site may help. Read carefully and consider while you click. Open multiple tabs.     Find trusted coverage         Find trusted reporting or analysis, look for the best information on a topic, or scan multiple sources to see what consensus is. Find something more in-depth and read about more viewpoints. Look beyond the first few results, use Ctrl + F, and consider the URL. Even if you don't agree with the consensus, it will help you investigate further.     Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context         Trace claims, quotes and media back to the source. What was clipped out of a story/photo/video and what happened before or after? When you read the research paper mentioned in a news story, was it accurately reported? Find the original source to see the context, so you can decide if the version you have is accurately presented.  STOP, INVESTIGATE, FIND, TRACE.  From the University of Oregon.