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ETH 101: Ethics and Society (Ford): Evaluating Sources

What is College Level Research?

College level research requires finding credible and reliable journal articles, magazine articles, books, eBooks, and other sources. The specific type of sources you need to find can vary depending on your assignment. You can find all kinds of credible sources through the library website.

Once you have your assignment, you either pick or are assigned a topic. Read through the assignment to ensure you understand what information and types of sources you need to find.

Next, research your topic with an open mind, using college level books, eBooks, articles or other media as determined by the assignment.

Finally, draw conclusions about the topic based on what you discovered from your research and write about your findings.

Remember that research often takes time and includes trial and error. You may not find the information you need right away. That's ok! Try changing your keywords and/or searching a different database. The more research you do, the more comfortable you'll become with searching, selecting, and evaluating information.

Example of a Peer Reviewed Article


What does peer-review mean anyway? - HORT 4099 Horticulture Capstone -  Research Guides at Louisiana State University

What Are Academic or Scholarly Journals?

Academic journals and scholarly journals are two ways of saying the same thing. These journals publish articles that are typically written by scholars and experts who have studied the field they are writing about. The journals are targeted at professionals in the field or people who are studying the field. 

What Are Peer Reviewed Articles?

Peer reviewed articles are found in academic/scholarly journals. They are written by scholars and experts, but they require an extra step before publication. Other equally qualified scholars and experts review each article for accuracy and significance before it can be published in a peer reviewed journal. Because of this more rigorous process, a peer reviewed article is considered to have the most value, even more than other scholarly articles.

Characteristics of Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Article is written by an expert in the field
    • The author's professional credentials are listed, such as education, job, or professional associations 
  • References and sources are listed at the end of the article
  • Articles frequently include graphs and/or charts
  • Articles frequently begin with an abstract, which summarizes the article
  • Often (but not always) broken down into sections, such as Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion
  • Written for people in the field or studying the field
  • Included in a journal with little to no ads

Free resources to gain a valuable understanding in Peer-Review processes |  Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS)

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