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Industrial Relations & Human Resources Library

A guide to resources available through the Industrial Relations/Human Resources Library and the University of Toronto Library System

Evaluating Your Sources

How do you decide which information to use in your research paper?

The CRAAP Test, created by a librarian at California State University, Chico, offers some helpful criteria for evaluating your sources:

  • Currency: The timeliness of the information.
  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
  • Authority: The source of the information.
  • Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
  • Purpose: The reason the information exists.

Peer Reviewed Articles

What is a peer-reviewed article?     

Articles in peer-reviewed journals are reviewed by a group of the writer's peers (academics in his/her field) before the articles are published. Many databases, e.g., ProQuest, give you the option to narrow your search by scholarly, peer-reviewed publications.

What does a peer-reviewed article look like? 

  • authored by researchers or professors and are written for an academic audience
  • the result of academic research
  • the author's credentials and the institution at which he or she works will be identified
  • have an abstract
  • includes footnotes and/or a bibliography
  • usually no graphics
  • little or no advertising

Is The Economist a peer-reviewed journal?

It is important to note that there are many magazines that are not peer-reviewed but are considered reputable sources of information, for example, The Economist. You must use your discretion when using a non peer-reviewed source in your research and, when in doubt, ask a librarian or your professor.


Online Resources