Are you currently searching for sources for a research project? Are you sure that the sources you are considering using are authoritative, free of bias, current, and verifiable? Take a moment to consider the following when choosing resources for your research:
1. Authorship and Authority (Gibaldi 41-45)
Author Credential information:
[Note: In some cases, an organization or corporation may be responsible for a work.]
- Educational degrees such as PhD, MD, etc.
- Affiliations such as schools, research facilities or other organizations; and work experience.
Publisher and publication information:
- Scholarly or peer reviewed journal articles undergo a higher level of screening by experts in the field.
- Publishers may be associated with educational institutions or national professional organizations.
2. Accuracy and Verifiability (Gibaldi 41-45)
Bias or point of view
- Look at the author or publication affiliations for potential sources of bias.
- Note the wording, tone, and how thoroughly differing opinions are explored.
- Determine if the author has citations backing up any claims within a work.
- Consult other sources to verify claims being made in the article.
3. Currency (Gibaldi 41-45)
- Certain types of information have a shorter shelf-life than others. An older article on current trends in heart surgery would not be a credible source. However, an older English literature article could be a good source.
- The date of publication may have an effect on the point of view or bias.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.
New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003. Print.
If you have any further questions, be sure to contact a reference librarian in person at the Reference Desk, via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at: (617) 735-9927.
– Posted by the Reference Department