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Psychology and Human Development Resources (P&HD): Evaluating Your Sources

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals Video

The majority of your course assignments here at Peabody will require you to locate peer reviewed literature.This video was created to help you unravel the differences between popular magazines and scholarly journals.

The P.S.T. Literature Blocks

Understanding the structure of published literature is a necessity in order to use library resources effectively. Learn the basics of primary, secondary, and tertiary literature using this infographic. Click image to enlarge 

Tips for Evaluating Sources

As you do your research, you will come across many types of sources, including books, articles, and websites. But not everything you find on your topic is relevant or suitable. Evaluating resources is a critical part of conducting research. The C.R.A.P. Method is a great rule of thumb that will help you determine the quality of a source.

The C.R.A.P. Method is:

  • Currency   How current is the information? Can you locate when the resource was last updated?
  • Reliability   What kind of information is presented? Is the information balanced or biased?
  • Authority   Who is the author? What are his or her credentials?
  • Purpose/Point of View  What is the purpose of the resource? Is the author presenting fact or opinion?

Other things to consider when evaluating a resource include:

  • What type of information do you need? Are you writing a literature review or research paper? The type of information you need depends on your project.
  • If you use a Web site, look at the URL address. Addresses ending in .edu, .gov or .org tend to be more reputable than addresses ending with .com or .net