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Beyond Google: Research for College Success

EVALUATING different types of resources


  • Learn how to search OneSearch in order to retrieve articles and other sources
  • Learn how to evaluate sources using the R.A.D.A.R framework
    • ‚ÄčRationale
    • Authority
    • Date
    • Accuracy
    • Relevance
  • Continue to identify parts needed to prepare citations for articles


If you are at this Lecture #4 site and reading this text, I hope you have already completed Quiz #4 as well as the chapter from the e-textbook - chapter 7.  It is important that you have done so. This chapter would have introduced you to locating and evaluating articles.  Your 1st draft of your annotated bibliography requires you to find three articles from OneSearch.  You were introduced to this database last week in Lecture #3 and this week's lecture will show you how to search for what you need.

Following the above objectives, this lecture will introduce you to search strategies and techniques for locating and retrieving articles in databases for newspapers, magazines, and journals.  Please pay attention so that you may mimic these exercises [demonstrated] when you are ready to begin research on your chosen topic for your annotated bibliography. 

You will also be introduced to RADAR, a framework developed to judge or critique the quality of sources. You will find this framework very helpful to use in other courses that will require you to do research papers. 

Lastly, this lecture will review the parts of a citation.  Please note the ones to be used for articles.  

We are half way through the course!

Any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to email me or drop by my virtual office hour.   

4.1. Examine closely the scope of each periodical below...

Read the description of the three publications below and think about, as you read, how different they are and how each may meet any or all of the criteria of relevance, quality, objectivity, and date coverage. 

Journal of Science teacher (JSTE) is the flagship journal of the Association foe Science teacher Education. it serves as a forum for disseminating high quality research and theoretical position papers concerning pre-service and in-service education of science teachers.  The journal features pragmatic articles that offer ways to improve classroom teaching and learning, professional development, and teacher recruitment and retention at pre K-16 levels.  Coverage: 1989-2002; 2005-present.

Scientific American is the world's premier magazine of scientific discovery and technological innovation for the general public.  Readers turn to it for a deep understanding of how science and technology can influence human affairs and illuminate the natural world.  Its readers are not primarily scientists; to the extent that they have technical backgrounds, they read Scientific American for information about areas outside their expertise.  In every issue, leading scientists, inventors and engineers from diverse fields describe their ideas and  achievements in clear and accessible prose; the work of select journalists rounds out the offerings.  The graphics are rich in content and visual style.  Coverage: 1948-1950; 1958 - present.

Science is a leading outlet for scientific news, commentary, and cutting-edge research.  Through its print and online incarnations, Science reaches an estimated worldwide readership of more than one million.  Science's authorship is global too, and its articles consistently rank among the works most cited research.  Science seeks to publish those papers that are the most influential in their fields or across fields and that will significantly advance scientific understanding. Selected papers should present novel and broadly important data, syntheses, or concepts. They should merit recognition by the wider scientific community and general public provided by the publication in Science, beyond that provided by specialty journals. Science welcomes submissions from all fields of science and from any source.  The editors are committed to the prompt evaluation and publication of submitted paper while upholding high standards that support reproducibility of published research.  Science is published weekly; selected papers are published online ahead of print.  Coverage: 1880 - present.


Given the above descriptions, which of the above titles do you think is a Peer-Reviewed Journal? Submit your answer in the anonymous poll below:

Anonymous poll:
Journal of Science Teacher: 18 votes (32.73%)
Scientific American: 14 votes (25.45%)
Science: 23 votes (41.82%)
Total Votes: 55

Evaluating Sources Using R.A.D.A.R.

**Video by IRSC Libraries (creative commons license)

RADAR (Rationale, Authority, Date, Accuracy, Relevance) is a framework that can help you remember what kinds of questions you should be asking about an information source as you evaluate it for quality and usefulness in your research. 

Radar method can help you evaluate sources of information. But this is only part of the solution to separating truth from fiction in the information we encounter. Better information habits are required of us. Until we apply skepticism and critical thought to the information that aligns with our world views just as we would for information that challenges us, we set ourselves up to be fooled by fake news. Until we expand our information bubbles to include more perspectives and coverage from a more diverse community of scholars and reporters, we limit what we can know and learn about our world.

Being a critical consumer of information is helpful not only in school, but also in our daily lives. Just as we need the information in our college research projects to be based on reliable, quality sources, we also want the health advice, product reviews, and other kinds of information we personally use to be reliable.


4.2b Publisher's Credibility

In terms of evaluating an author, credentials include degrees received, titles held, professional affiliations, years of activity in a field, publication history, fields of inquiry, and characteristics of publication in which their work has appeared.

Similar to judging an author's credentials, knowing more about a publishing company can help you understand potential biases. Keep in mind that publishing standards vary for each publishing house.  XYZ Publishing may print anything that may bring a profit, whereas QRS University Press may screen all information they publish to ensure the validity of the content protecting their reputation. 


  • Commercial publishing houses:  McGraw Hill, Scholastics, MacMillan, Pearson, Nova Science, Prentice Hall, Penguin Random House, Africa World Press, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Scribner, and so on.
  • University Presses: Harvard University Press, Northern Illinois University Press, University of the West Indies Press, Melbourne University Press, Oxford University Press,  Kent State University Press, University of Puerto Rico Press, Wits University Press, and so on.
  • Associations, Societies, Businesses, Industries, and services that publish their own periodicals, newsletters, staff training documents, operating schedules, brochures: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Publications, Modern Museum of Art, American Historical Association (AHA), Brookings Institute Press.  
  • Government and Intergovernmental Bodies: U.S. Government Publishing Office, United Nations, World Health Organization, and so on.
  • Web Publishers, which includes anyone with access to a computer network and a host computer to store and deliver their publication, including the "traditional" publishing houses. 

4.3 Self-assessment quiz

Self-Quiz on Usefulness
Instructions: Select one of the following sources as most useful for a research paper on the current use of primates in scientific laboratories: 
a. "Monkeys in our Labs," by Scott Gottieber, a USA Today staff writer.  Published in the newspaper, USA Today, Dec 15, 1989.  Includes chart, "Number of Test Primates in the US, 1975-1985."
b. Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group website.  LPAG is a nonprofit organization.  Website last updated, 2001.  " LPAG believes that the lab is no place of monkeys and nonhuman great apes."
c. "Record Number of Monkey being used in U.S. Research." by David Grimm.  Published by the American Association of the Advancement of Science.  Appeared in Science, a scholarly publication on November 2, 2018.
Given the above statements, select a, b, or c below:
a: 5 votes (10%)
b: 8 votes (16%)
c: 37 votes (74%)
Total Votes: 50

4.4 Example of an Annotated Bibliography for Periodicals

4.5. Prepare information for citations to your sources...

As you do your research, don't forget to keep a list of sources you anticipate to use in your annotated bibliography --books, articles, Websites, etc. You will need this information later to correctly present the source of every annotation your write up.  Below is at least one type of information you will need to write down with each of its important parts labeled for sources in this week's assignment:

Book: Example book citation
Article in a periodical: Example Article citation
Sources on the web: Example web citation
Online Article Example Online Article Citation


Click on the hyperlinked title to see how you can cite Images and Other Multimedia from MLA 8th edition.


Click on the following hyperlinked titles to see how to cite information from a Webpage from a News Website, Television, Video & Podcasts, and  Social Media from APA 7th edition. 


Now, go back to the BlackBoard course site

Please log in to Blackboard to complete the following listed in Lessons for Week #4.  Any assignment, quiz, or tutorial given in this lesson MUST be completed on or before February 21, 2023 and submitted by 11:30pm.

  1. Watch video: How to Recognize Fake News? Respond to questions in the discussion forum - 30 points.
  2. Prepare and submit your first draft of your annotated bibliography - an article from a newspaper, a magazine, and a journal.
  3. Prepare for mini-quiz on February 22, 2023, which is based on the above readings and modules in Blackboard for Lesson #4.




CREDIT: With permission, partial content on this web page was adapted from the University of Idaho Information Literacy Portal.