Answered By: Desk Reference Last Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Credibility can be demonstrated in a number of different ways. Ultimately, it’s up the researcher (you) to determine if a source is credible. There are a few things to look for that may signal that a source has credibility.
- The author’s credentials and expertise.
- The journal or publisher’s editorial process, including the process of peer-review.
- The audience for which the source was written.
- The use of evidence or external sources to support the author’s conclusions.
Often your professors will ask that you use academic or scholarly sources in your research papers. The definition can be a bit vague, but in general a scholarly source will be an article published in a peer-reviewed journal. Some books may qualify as scholarly if they are published by a university press or a scholarly association, but it’s wise to check with your professor to make sure these materials count as scholarly from their perspective.
You can find more information about scholarly sources under one of the following links.
- Help with Research - Finding Scholarly Sources
- Ulriuch’s Web Index (verify if a journal is peer-reviewed or “refereed”)