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Gerstein Science Information Centre

CSB196: Genes, Genomes and Us

This guide will assist CSB196 students when starting to look for and gather research for papers and assignments.

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

What does it mean for a source to be credible? Why is it important to use these sources? How can you tell if a source is credible?

Evaluating Journal Articles

When deciding which articles to use to support ideas and arguments in your paper, keep these criteria in mind:

Accuracy
  • Is this article fact or opinion?
  • Are counter-arguments acknowledged?
  • Are the results accurate and are they supported by the data and methodology presented?
  • Does this support or contradict other articles?
  • Are references to other works given?
Authority
  • Is the author an expert in this field?
  • What other works have they written?
  • Can you find out more about the author? What is their background?
  • Has this author been cited by others?
Bias
  • Some publications have an inherent bias that will impact articles printed in them. Can you determine this from looking at the journal?
  • Is the author's point of view impartial and objective? Are counter-arguments acknowledged?
Audience Level
  • What audience is the article designed for?
  • Is it too basic or too technical for your needs?
Currency
  • It is usually easy to determine the publication date of an article.