Recommended Starting Point | Find Statistics | Types of Sources | Classroom Activity: What Type of Source is This? | What is Peer Review? | Find Professional Articles | Determining if a Journal is Peer Reviewed and Evaluating Credibility | How to Read Scholarly Articles | Choosing a Topic and Finding Sources | Wright State University Library Catalog Search | Evaluating and Reading Sources | What Does It Mean to Contribute to the Scholarly Conversation? | Appropriately Integrating Your Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism | APA Style
Short video (by Mary Poffenroth) that demonstrates the difference between a website and a journal article.
This brief (but excellent) video from California State University, Dominguez Hills explains what peer review is and why it is important.
Locating the relevant subject research guide(s) for your major field of study will:
1) Show you the best library resources (including article search engines or databases) for your profession.
2) Identify your discipline's subject librarian and provide their contact information. Your subject librarian can help you whenever you need advice about how to access appropriate information intended for professionals in your field.
If your program of study is within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, you can choose from among these databases to find professional journal articles that address topics in your field.
Many (but not all) scholarly journals have a peer review process. Often, library databases will have a "scholarly/peer-reviewed" check box that will allow you to limit your results to peer-reviewed journals. If they do not, the journal (publisher) web site usually describes the journal as either peer-reviewed or refereed in its "About" or "Instructions to Authors" section. If you still aren't sure if the journal is considered to be peer-reviewed, ask a librarian.
Note: Peer review generally considered to indicate some level of quality assurance, more so than other publications or postings you might find online. However, some online journals claim to be peer-reviewed, but have deceptive or predatory publishing practices and actually undergo little to no peer review. If you are not familiar with a journal's reputation, ask a librarian or your professors for help.
Even if a journal generally has a good reputation, it's always a good idea to do some basic evaluation of your sources. You don't have to be an expert in the field to perform some basic evaluation, but you should do a quick internet search to learn more about the authors and their affiliations. Some questions that help with basic evaluation are:
For tips on how to evaluate potential sources, take a look at some of the other links on this guide.
Before you rely on ANY type of information (websites, media, books, articles), you should evaluate whether the source is credible. Here are some options that may help.
When you write and prepare papers and presentations in your courses and subsequently in your career, you are contributing to the ongoing research conversation about a matter of concern in your chosen career or field. You are not simply stringing together quotes or summaries from sources, but you are thoughtfully selecting and using sources to demonstrate your own understanding and ideas about the topic.
Take a look at these videos to find out more about how to use sources to contribute to the scholarly conversation while still allowing your own ideas to be heard.