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Criminal Justice 311 (Online)

Tab To-Do List:

1. Review the "Evaluating Articles" sub-tab on one method for evaluating articles (there are many others!). The more you know about your topic, the broader discipline (i.e. criminal justice), and the ins and outs of research methods, the better you will get at this! For additional info, click on the link to the Evaluating Information library guide - lots of good resources to help you!

2. Consider reading the "How to read an Article in Social Psychology" article linked in the "Resources" tab. Its only seven pages, and its really worth it. There are other useful how-to read... links as well.

3. Take another look at the articles you have located so far, applying this process of evaluation. Do you still think your articles are relevant to the information need associated with this project (your research proposal and lit review)?

Evaluating Articles (Books Too!)

The video on the Finding and Getting Articles tab included some examples of evaluating scholarly articles, but this process may help you as well. It's useful for any information source, including books and websites.

A Three-Stage Evaluation Process: Making sure that you identify items that are appropriate for your literature review or other parts of your research proposal:

1.   Aboutness – immediate scan of title and abstract (i.e. is it a research study? How old is the article? Does it look relevant to you? )

2.   Practical Skim– requires longer skim of abstract and actual article – doing it as you find the article may save you time/effort – can also do after you’ve saved/printed the article (hint: if the article lets you see the text as a HTML file, you can skim it more easily that way - but if you decide to download it, be sure to download the PDF version)

  •  Language ; type of article (i.e. peer reviewed versus popular ;  source (i.e country) ; author(s); setting ; date of pub; participants/subjects ; content (topic, variables) ; program/intervention ; research design (i.e. sophisticated quantitative modeling versus qualitative research, i.e. interviews or a survey )
  •  sampling ; date of data collection ; duration of data collection ; funding source

 3.   Going deeper: content and methodological quality, rigor – requires a close read of the research article; things you are learning in your class or in future


For additional information, see this Evaluating Information library guide - in addition to the links you will see, be sure to click the drop-down menu as shown  to see more resources.

screenshot of the Evaluating Information subtab in the Information Literacy Research Skill Building library guide


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