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Pacific Lutheran University

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*Geosciences: Evaluating Sources

Peer Review

Evidence based change sign

Peer review is the process by which research studies are selected for publication. Here's how it works:

  1. Someone, say for example you, does some research and writes up the results.
  2. To get your study published, you submit it to one of the thousands of scientific journals that exist to disseminate research.
  3. The journal sends your study to a set of peer reviewers. These are other researchers in your field who read your study and conclude whether or not it should be published.
  4. If the consensus is that your study should be published, the journal publishes it and other researchers can read your work!

Evaluating Web Sources

Is it, or is it ain't a scholarly source? If it isn't, is it good enough to use anyway? (If it IS, is it good enough to use anyway?) Here are some resources to help you evaluate that great article you just found.

Evaluating Information

"What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact." -- Warren Buffett

Evaluating information is a tricky thing.

We want to find sources that support our research and provide a substantive background. But how do you know when you've got the good stuff? One way is to compare the source to what you already know. But the point of research is discovery: sometimes, the discovery of something that goes against the prevailing view.

This can be especially challenging when you're a student and still learning what you need to know to weigh evidence effectively. This page provides some strategies and tools to help you weigh your sources and choose the best ones for your research project.

Evaluating Scientific Research

Getting the Whole Story

Much of information evaluation is building context. Whether it's an image on Tumblr, a retweet, a Facebook meme, or an interesting article you just found on your topic, a key component of critically evaluating information is never take anything at face value. The full story is often more interesting, more complex, and may reveal a very different truth. Here are some examples:

Subject Guide

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Genevieve Williams
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