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Psychology: Evaluate Information

Introduction to library resources in the field of psychology.

Is my article from a refereed/ peer reviewed journal?

Use Ulrichsweb to find out.

Learn how to use Ulrichsweb by watching the video tutorial to the right or Ask a Librarian.

How to Identify a Scholarly Article


Anatomy of a Scholarly article tutorial

Tutorial created by NCSU Libraries.

Peer Reviewed? Refereed?

Peer review (also called Refereeing) is the process an author goes through to get an article published in a journal.

Let's say you are an expert in a particular field. You write an article and submit it to a journal. Your article goes through several steps before it may or may not be published.

1. Your article is read and scrutinized by colleagues who are experts in your field. This editorial review is done by your peers in the field.

2. Your article is judged by this panel of expert peers and they act as referees, deciding whether your article adds to the literature or enhances the knowledge within your field.

3. If your article passes this editorial peer review / refereeing, your article is published.

4. All the articles in that journal go through the same process so that journal is peer reviewed / refereed.

Magazine or Scholarly Journal? - Using Ulrichs to Find Out

Magazines vs. Journals

  Magazines Journals
Audience General Scholars, researchers or professionals. Academic or professional organizations usually publish journals.
Length & Focus Shorter articles which cover a wide range of topics. Research and current trends are broadly summarized. Longer, in-depth articles that cover case studies and research reports and often include a list of references. Contain few photographs or advertisements.
Review Process Reviewed by magazine editorial staff. Before some journal articles are published, they are reviewed by an editorial board, peer reviewed or refereed. This means the contents are evaluated by others in the field prior to being published.
Examples

Time

Rolling Stone

US News & World Report

image of cover of Time magazine

English Studies

Communication Research

Journal of the American Medical Association

CRAAP Test - Evaluation Criteria

Evaluate your information using the CRAAP test. Based on what you discover, go back and brainstorm and re-search some more.

C urrency
How new (or old) is the information? 
Is the information out of date for your topic?
R elevance
Does the information address your topic, thesis and supporting arguments? 
Is it at an appropriate level (i.e not too elementary or too advanced?)
A uthority
Who wrote the information? Individual or institution? Are they credible?
Are the author's credentials or qualifications given?
Is there author's contact information?
A ccuracy
Is the information consistent with other sources? 
Does the information seem biased?
Are there spelling or grammar mistakes?
P urpose
Why was the information created? To persuade? To educate? To sell something?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
Are there political, cultural, institutional or personal biases and opinions?