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.
Gordon, C. G.; Mackey, J. L.; Jewett, J. C.; Sletten, E. M.; Houk, K. N.; Bertozzi, C. R. Reactivity of Biarylazacyclooctynones in Copper-Free Click Chemistry. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134 (22), 9199-9208. DOI: 10.1021/ja3000936
Who is the author? Are they an expert?
The corresponding author of this article is Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi, who is currently a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. At the time of publication, she was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bertozzi has an extensive history of research that has been highly cited by other scientists. She is recognized as a leader in the field of bioorthogonal chemistry. This source reports research that is within her area of expertise.
Where was this source published?
This source was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (ISSN 0002-7863), which is the flagship journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This journal was founded in 1879 and has an established reputation for publishing scholarly chemistry research. The professional organization that sponsors this journal (ACS) has a large membership and hosts regular conferences. 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 2012. It has been highly cited by other researchers, meaning it may be important reading for your project, but there are likely newer published articles available that further build upon this research. It may be worth looking at what other articles have cited this source and at more recent research from the authors.
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.