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InfoBits: Evaluating Magazines & Newspapers

What You'll Learn

InfoBits - Build your research skills

  • How to determine if an article or periodical is appropriate for your needs

Important Terms

Peer-Review in 5 Minutes


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Evaluating Magazines & Newspapers

Evaluating Magazines & Newspapers - Determine if an article, magazine, journal, or newspaper meets your research needs.

Generally, articles published in magazines, newspapers, and journals are written by journalists, experts in their field, professors and scholars. Most articles are approved by editors or peer-reviewed before they are published in different types of periodicals.

Did you know that different types of periodicals (popular and news magazines, newspapers, trade journals and research journals) have different purposes?

Use the information on this page to help select articles that meet your research needs.

Tips for Selecting Articles

Examine the citation of an article:

  • It lists the name of the article, publication, and author.
  • The date and length of the article will also be given.
  • These can be used to make a quick decision as to the article’s usefulness.

Read the abstract:

  • The abstract is a short summary of the article.  This is another quick way to determine the article's usefulness.
  • If no abstract is available, skim the article. 

Use the best format of the article:

  • Articles in HTML format will load quickly in your browser & will use less paper to print.
  • PDF format will give you an exact image of the article as it appeared in the journal.

Selecting Articles for Your Research

How to Select Appropriate Articles

Consider the purpose of the article:

  • Is it research-based, a personal account, a news report, an historical account?
  • Who is the audience? This may have a bearing on its suitability for your needs.
  • Is there a bias?
  • Is the information objective and balanced?

Where & when was the article published?

  • Was it published in a magazine, newspaper, or journal?
  • What does the focus of a periodical reveal about the article's suitability?
  • Date – think about how important current information is to your topic.

Are you finding quality information?

  • Is the information accurate and factual?
  • Are the article’s sources cited?
  • Is the author knowledgeable on the subject?
  • Was the article peer-reviewed?

Build Your Skills

Use the "Assessing Articles" worksheet to analyze and determine if the article's content is the right match for your research needs.

Review the "Using Ulrichsweb" worksheet to learn how Ulrichsweb can help determine if a periodical is suitable for your your research needs.

Save Time

noteKeep track of your resources right from the start. If you don't, it may be challenging to refer back for more information or for citing and creating your bibliography.

For each resource, record the:

  • Article title
  • Publication or book title
  • Database or website name
  • Date, page numbers, etc. 

Popular or Scholarly?

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