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Research Articles and Peer Review: Locate materials

Full text

Some databases offer a full text feature that links you directly to an article, so you can download and print it. Explore databases in your subject area to determine the content you can access.

Finding a database

If you'd like to find out how to locate a specific database (maybe one that your tutor has recommended) check out the list of databases here

Evaluating other online sources

  • Online sources can be a valuable tool if you know how to accurately assess the value and validity of the online information source.
  • In trying to determine the validity of a webpage, it is useful to see what type of organization publishes the page. Sites ending in .edu or .ac or .gov or .govt are generally more accurate and trustworthy than most, since they emanate from academic and governmental organizations. It is important to verify that you are not looking at a student page located on an academic server, which may or may not be as trustworthy as a page produced by the school.
  • Another element to be cautious of when evaluating your potential source is bias. For example, if you are looking at a commercial site, are they accurately portraying information, or bending the truth to fit their needs?
  • The next criterion to evaluate is accuracy. Begin by looking for spelling mistakes, poor grammar, and typos.
  • Next, look at the sources quoted within the page. Are they well-known, trusted sources and people with expertise in the field at hand?
  • If the page is valid, accurate, and published by a trusted source, then it is generally considered acceptable for research purposes.