When it comes to evaluating the quality and reliability of a source for your research, there is no "one solution fits all" checklist to follow. Here are some starting questions to consider when evaluating sources.
When you find a research article from a web search, it may be difficult to tell whether it is peer-reviewed at first glance. Here are a few steps to figure out if an article is peer-reviewed.
Boucek, R. E., Allen, M. S., Ellis, R. D., Estes, J., Lowerre-Barbieri, S., & Adams, A. J. (2022). An extreme climate event and extensive habitat alterations cause a non-linear and persistent decline to a well-managed estuarine fishery. Environmental Biology of Fishes. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-022-01309-6
Who is the author? Are they an expert?
The corresponding author is Dr. Ross E Boucek who is currently works for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust and the Florida International University, Department of Earth and Environment. Dr. Boucek has an extensive history of research that has been cited by other scientists. He is an up and coming leader in the field of fisheries of Florida. This source reports research that is within his area of expertise.
Where was this source published?
This source was published in the Environmental Biology of Fishes (ISSN 0378-1909). This journal was founded in 1976 and has an established reputation for publishing scholarly research on fish. This journal is verified to be refereed in UlrichsWeb.
What is the purpose of the source?
This article has been peer reviewed, meaning that it was assessed for quality and significance by other researchers in the field. It is meant to report and share scientific research results to an audience of fellow scholars. The authors of this source declared no conflicts of interest or competing financial interest.
When was this source created?
This article was published in 2022. It has been highly cited twice by other researchers, meaning it may be important reading for your project, but there are likely older published articles available that been cited more and could also be important. It may be worth looking at what other articles this article cited.
Where can this information be verified?
The authors included a list of references to support the research in this article, many of which can be accessed online through library databases.
Is this the most relevant source for your needs?
You would choose to read this article if it provides relevant information to your research questions and makes sense with the context of your research. For example, if you were doing a literature review on copper-free click chemistry, this source may provide information about important compounds. If you were planning to synthesize some of these compounds in a laboratory, this source may provide laboratory protocols to follow. Depending on the context, you may need to look for updated information since this article was published.