This lesson reviews what we have learned.
It’s time to double check and make sure that
your information is current, factual, and
Look over the information that you have
gathered and ask some questions.
• Who wrote it?
• What is the scope?
• Where was it published?
• When was it written?
• How is the information presented?
Who wrote that article?
When looking at a peer-reviewed
article you should see the
author’s name, professional
affiliations and academic
The information does not always
follow the same format. But, the
information about an author is
important when determining the
quality of the research article.
You may also want to see if the
author has written additional
articles on the topic. The
author’s name can lead to
Check the Reference List
A peer-reviewed article will have a
listing of cited references.
Always check the references. The
list can lead to other important
If you see a reference cited in many
places, consult it. It may be very
important to the topic you’re
Who wrote the book?
Books you use should clearly indicate:
• The author's or editor’s name
• Author's academic credentials
• Author's professional affiliations.
Bibliographies and Notes
As with journal articles a
book’s author consults many
The bibliography and notes
found in a book can lead to
additional resources for your
Books are amazing tools for in-
depth research on a topic.
Determine the Scope of a Publication
The scope is the extent or breath of the subject
matter that a publication covers or to which it is
The scope of a publication is usually defined at the
For books it’s discussed in the introduction.
For journal articles the scope can be read in the
introduction or the abstract.
Scoping Out Relevancy
In this abstract the author’s
intention and methodology are
clearly stated in the abstract.
He is researching the
importance of “historical
reenactment” and believes that
“reenactments have the
potential to create more open
ended and contextual historical
Looking for Bias
Everyone has their particular viewpoint
or bias. That’s important to know
when doing research.
Bias is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, it is important to recognize
that often authors are convinced that
their point of view is the only one that
The article presented here is in a
magazine published by Christianity
Today. It has a particular religious bias
that may influence what the author
Checking Up on Bias
To determine bias look at the
• The publisher’s information
• Author’s affiliation
• Date of publication
Any of these can help determine
the bias found in an article or
Sometimes just the title of the
publication can tell you the bias.
The newer the better.
It’s a good way to think about the
information you use in writing
In the sciences currency is
paramount. Articles which are
over five years old are considered
In any field use the latest insights
for your research. Be up-to-date!
Can you follow the evidence trail?
In evaluating your sources it is important to
note how the information is presented.
• The abstract of an article should clearly
display aims, background, design and
method, results, conclusions, and
• Citations should be clearly marked
throughout the publication.
• Conclusions and relevance of the
research should be decidedly noted.
• References follow a standard academic