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Evaluating information sources: Articles

Library Guide

How to Evaluate Journal Articles

How to Evaluate Journal Articles (Colorado State University)
Find out what are the important points of evaluation.

Evaluation Clues

Scholarly Value: 

  • Is the journal scholarly or popular?
  • Are the journal articles peer reviewed (or refereed)?
    Peer reviewed (or refereed) journals are scholarly journals whose articles are reviewed by other experts in the field, prior to acceptance for publication.

Tip: Many research databases allow limiting your search to refereed/peer reviewed articles.

To confirm that a specific journal title is scholarly, search the title in ULRICHSWEB directory. Look for the Refereed icon or find the Refereed/Peer-reviewed information listed under Additional Title Details.


  • look for biographical detail in the publication itself
  • search relevant research databases for other articles by this author
  • search sources for biographical information, such as authors' address/affiliation in research databases, websites, etc.
  • search citation databases for the impact of the author's work on subsequent research, e.g. a 
    Cited Reference Search in Web of Science will find other articles/books that cite or review a person's work