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BA 324 - Business Communication

Evaluating Sources

When will different types of resources cover your topic?

The Day of an Event

  • Television, Social Media, and the Web

The Day After an Event

  • Newspapers

The Week or Weeks After an Event

  • Weekly Popular Magazines and New Magazines

Six Months to a Year or More After an Event

  • Academic, Scholarly Journals

A Year to Years After an Event

  • Books
  • Government Reports

When searching for academic articles, be aware that many academic journals contain case studies, news, option pieces, book reviews and other non-peer reviewed material.  Each article should be evaluated on its own merits.

Evaluate every source before using it in your paper:

  • Authority:

    • Who wrote this?
    • Do they have credentials or a reputation in the field?
    • Should I be using them as a source of information?
  • Content:

    • Is the information relevant?
    • Is this information current enough?
    • Is the information accurate?
    • Is there documentation or evidence?
  • Purpose:

    • Is there a bias or agenda?
    • Who is the audience?

Peer review is a process scholarly articles go through before they are published. Scholarly articles are sent to other experts in the field (peers) to ensure that they contain high-quality, original research important to the field. This is a measure of quality control other types of literature don't go through. 

If you can't tell whether or not a journal is peer-reviewed, check Ulrichsweb.

  1. Log into Ulrichweb.
  2. Type in the title of the journal.
  3. Peer-reviewed journals will have a referee jersey ("refereed" is another term for "peer-reviewed") - example below

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