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Introduction to Library Research

Evaluation Questions

When evaluating sources consider the following questions:

Who is the author of the source? Are they an expert?
   Check their affiliations. Are they active in the scholarly conversation? Google the author.
   Keep the context in mind. What voices are missing from the conversation?

 What is the purpose of the source? Why was it created?
   Consider the type of source and how the information was created, revised, and disseminated. Check for biases.

When was it created and has it been updated?
   Does your topic require current information? Could the information have changed?

Where can the information be verified?
​​   Check the references and follow the links.

 Why would you choose this source instead of another?
   Keep the context in mind.

Examining a Source

The Source

Dixson, A. D. (2018). “What’s Going On?”: A Critical Race Theory Perspective on Black Lives Matter and Activism in Education. Urban Education53(2), 231–247. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085917747115

 Who is the author of the source? Are they an expert?

The author of this article is Dr. Adrienne D. Dixson, a Professor of Critical Race Theory and Education at the University of Illinois. She has an extensive history of research that is highly cited. The author represents identities that are underrepresented in academic scholarship. The author declared no potential conflicts of interest and received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

 What is the purpose of the source? Why was it created?

This article is from a peer-reviewed academic journal, Urban Education. The purpose of the journal is to publish papers addressing urban issues "that contribute new, extensive, and expanded knowledge regarding theory, research and/or practice in the field." The article was peer-reviewed which means the article was assessed for quality and significance by reviewers (other researchers in the field) before publication. 

 When was it created and has it been updated?

The article was first published online in 2017 and still may be adequately current for this field (social sciences). However since several years have passed, there may be articles that further build upon this research. 

 Where can the information be verified?

The author includes a list of cited references to support her research, many of which can be accessed online through the library databases.

 Why would you choose this source instead of another?

You would choose this article if it provides relevant information that can help you answer your research questions, meets your criteria for credibility, and makes sense for your research context (e.g. a college essay on the Black Lives Matter movement). 

 

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