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How to Determine the Credibility of Sources of Information - Essay Example

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The paper "How to Determine the Credibility of Sources of Information" highlights that non-peer-reviewed articles really allow for any type of information to get out into the media, especially onto the internet, without being scrutinized (Engle, 27)…
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How to Determine the Credibility of Sources of Information
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Information is considered one of the most vital parts of an individual’s day to day activities, where without it, nothing would progress. Information has been in existence since time immemorial, and it has been viewed as an areal entity, unable to act on its own (Engle, 15). The term information can be defined as stimuli that have meaning in some context for its receiver (Engle, 15). It is that which makes communication between two individuals possible.
Time and again, people, especially students have been advised on ensuring that the information they acquire from resources such as agencies, periodicals, organizations and institutions is credible. As it has been observed, the real strength of a student’s writing rests in large part on the quality of research informing his or her argument (Engle, 17). It is thus important to recognize the types of resources used for instance peer and non-peer-reviewed articles.
Differences between peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles
Peer-reviewed articles refer to those articles read by subject experts before being published in a journal (Engle, 22). These articles need to pass through the review process as a way of ensuring that the published articles exhibit the highest quality in their fields. On the other hand, non-peer-reviewed articles are those articles that have not been revised by an expert or passed through the review process (Engle, 24). There are a few differences that exist between peer-reviewed articles and non-peer-reviewed articles for instance, while peer-reviewed articles are closely checked to ensure they are correct, unlike non-peer-reviewed articles. Additionally, peer-reviewed articles are given more authority as compared to non-peer reviewed articles. Peer-reviewed articles hold under the scrutiny of one’s peers, who are considered experts in similar fields. 
How to Determine the Credibility of sources of information
A person can look for who the author of the particular article is, and ensure whether or not they can find out about that individual or organization (Engle, 29). It is also important to determine the type of site one is considering, for instance; if the database or site is recommended by the library, if it is an online periodical or version of a print publication as well as if the site is a blog or homepage owned by a single individual (Engle, 32). To be able to assess whether or not the information being published is credible is to understand the site a particular site had for publishing information, and if the individual who developed the resource has the knowledge and authority for developing it (Engle, 34).
People especially students should be made aware of or rather educated on how to determine the credibility of sources of data, as they are the ones who are additionally vulnerable to acquiring non-peer-reviewed information. Majority of non-peer-reviewed articles usually do not possess a sober, serious appearance and often contain attractive pictures. That is why it is necessary to take the above-mentioned steps in identifying and evaluating a credible source of information. Read More
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