Peer-reviewed articles have been evaluated by several researchers or subject specialist in the academic community prior to accepting it for publication. Also known as scholarly or refereed.
In most databases you may limit your search to peer-reviewed, scholarly, or refereed publications by selecting this filter.
There may be content in peer reviewed journals which is not peer reviewed. These may be book reviews, letters, or front and back matter. In most cases, though, the research articles within will be peer reviewed. Consult a librarian if you're not sure.
Learn to be critical thinkers. When conducting research on the World Wide Web, evaluate the sites you are viewing using the criteria found in this section.
· ACCURACY Anyone can publish information on the web. The information may or may not be accurate. Most web sites are not verified by editors and fact checkers. Look for e-mail, contact address and phone numbers. You want to find out if the author is qualified to write the web page.
· AUTHORITY Web sites should enable the researcher to find out about the authors. Look for names, where they work, credentials, addresses, and e-mail addresses. Look for the URL domain. Is the author affiliated with an educational institution (edu), a government agency (gov), an organization (org), or a commercial site (com)? Do the authors/publishers list their qualifications?
· OBJECTIVITY Are the goals and aims of the persons or groups responsible for the web site clearly stated? Is the group/person/organization legitimate? Some sites are thinly disguised commercials or opinion pages. Does the author express his/her opinions? Ask yourself why the page was written and for whom.
· CURRENCY Dates are not usually included on web pages. Check for dead links and outdated information. If you see a date listed, it may be the date of posting or the date of revision.
· COVERAGE Are you getting all the information this site has to offer? Do you need specialized software to access the information? Are you required to pay a fee to access the information? Is the content of the web page balanced with text and graphics? Are links relevant to the document’s content? Good web sites should contain a statement explaining or summarizing topics covered on the site.
PC 7/98, 1/06