It is important to evaluate the information you are considering for your research. Your professor will know if you are using biased or inaccurate information in your assignments. Incorporating poor quality sources and information will influence the grade you receive on your assignments.
The RADAR Framework can help you remember what kinds of questions you should be asking about an information source as you evaluate it for quality and usefulness in your research.
Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs
Authority: the source of your information
Date: the timeliness of the information
Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
Reason for writing: the purpose for the existence of the information
Primary sources are first-hand accounts or individual representations. They are created by those who have directly witnessed what they are describing.
Secondary sources interpret and/or analyze primary sources, as they offer different perspectives, analyses and conclusions on a given topic.
Tertiary sources are a compilation or digest of primary and secondary materials. Generally, they are agreed upon fact.
Journal articles should be used for your assignments and research, as they are written by expert researchers and critiqued by specialists in the field.
It is important to note the difference between a peer reviewed article and a popular article. Peer reviewed articles refer to those that have been edited and reviewed by authors’ peers, who are experts in the same field.
Popular articles are not peer reviewed, and are written to inform the general public.
From the library’s list of research databases select Ulrichs Web Global Serials Directory. This allows users to discover information about the journal, such as whether or not it is peer-reviewed.
In Ulrichs, use the search bar to search the name of the journal that your article is indexed in. Journals that are peer-reviewed are referred to as “refereed.”
Visit the UW library’s online research guide Evaluating Information Sources.
Mandalios, J. (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal Of Information Science, 39, 470-478.