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MAHRC-Masters of Health Risk Communication: Evaluating Resources

Peer Reviewed?

Your professors will frequently ask that you use only peer reviewed articles to support you own work.  Peer reviewed articles are found in journals.  Your professor may say peer-reviewed journal, research journal, academic journal, or scholarly journal. What is peer review?  The Merriam Webster Dictionary describes peer review:



: a process by which a scholarly work (such as a paper or a research proposal) is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted


Tips For Evaluating Resources

Accurate, current, and appropriate information are valuable commodities.  Be a discriminate consumer of information!  If you are not confident that the information you have retrieved is the best information for your purpose, ask a librarian for assistance.  Consider these criteria when evaluating both print and online resources.

When evaluating information ask yourself…….


        Who is the author?

        Is he/she an expert?

        Who is the publisher?  Are they reputable?


        Is this fact or opinion?

        Is the information biased in any way?

        Is there any advertising in the resource?

        Who is the intended audience?


        Is the information true? 

        Where did they get the information?

        Is the information cited in a works cited or reference list?


        Is the information dated?

        Is the information current enough for your research?

        Has the information been updated?





Newsweek (Popular Magazine)       

*Purpose: To entertain, market, or promote a viewpoint                              

  • Articles are written by staff or journalists, not practicing experts    
  • Articles are not peer reviewed
  • Reading level is basic
  • Articles are shorter on average
  • There are advertisements and glossy color photos.
  • Lacks references or works cited lists

Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  (Scholarly Journal)

*Purpose: To contribute to the evolving body of knowledge within an academic discipline

  • Articles are written by credentialed experts
  • Articles are peer reviewed by other experts
  • Reading level is advanced
  • Longer, more structured articles
  • Has a list of references, citations or bibliography at the end of each article
  • No ads, pictures limited to statistical graphs, historical photos, etc.

Compare These Articles

Click on the links below for Articles 1 and 2.  Take a look at each of these articles (click on the full text link).  They are both on the same topic. Use the tips above to evaluate each article.  Which one is the scholarly article, most appropriate for a research project? 

Compare These Articles
Article 1: 0 votes (0%)
Article 2: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0