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LSC 250: Research Methods in the Communication Industry (Spring 2021) : Evaluating Information

This guide provides links to selected resources from among library collections and services to support students in LSC 250.

Tips and Tutorials

This page of your library course guide links to online guides and tutorials to assist you in becoming a critical consumer of information. Importantly, too, these selected resources speak to your task as a student, to process and to determine the usefulness of scholarly information (articles and more) to inform papers and projects. 

Evaluating Search Results

Once you have run searches in a literature database and pulled up a set of records, how will you know whether what you have found will be useful for your papers and projects? 

Evaluating results will look to consider the following:

Relevance

Do your search results look like they are addressing your information need? Are they on topic? Note that sometimes you may need to search more than one database to find the best set of records.

Credibility

Can you find any cues that the information or research has been produced by someone that is qualified to speak to that information or data? Can you see any obvious bias that may indicate a one-sided or heavily-influenced agenda? What else has been written by the author(s)?
Making this determination will likely require looking beyond the record; you may need to retrieve the full-text or look for additional information produced or shared by the author(s).

Reliability

Do the results and conclusions align with the data? This can be more challenging to do. It will mean learning to interrogate the research methods and how the data were collected and analyzed--and again, working from the full-text of an article. This course and its required text will help you to build skills in this area. 

 

Scholarship as Conversation

Evaluating Across Sources (New!)