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EP 342: Materials Science: Evaluating Sources

Connects students in PHYS 342 with information on Materials Science and resources in the library.

Evaluating Sources

"Source evaluation is the process of critically evaluating information in relation to a given purpose in order to determine if it is appropriate for the intended use" (How to do Research). Using high-quality resources will ensure that you find the most accurate, up-to-date information available on a topic. Working with reliable sources will allow you to construct your own ideas and research with confidence. 

Whether you are working with research on the worldwide web, or directly through the Kettering University Library, it is important to evaluate each source you use. Below are tips for evaluating web resources, journal articles, books and e-books! 

Evaluating Journals

Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

  • Written by a scholar, researcher, PhD holder in the field, professor, etc.
  • Utilizes extensive primary source documentation
  • Uses discipline specific terminology, methodology, theory
  • Advances research or contributes to a discipline of study
  • Published by a peer reviewed journal
  • Has a current publication date (if currency is important to the topic at hand)
  • Includes a bibliography

Example: BIM and Mechanical Engineering—A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis by Luca Adanic, Sara Guerra de Oliveira, Andrej Tibaut

  • Authored by faculty of Civil and Transportation Engineering and Architecture at the University of Maribor 
  • Published in MDPI by Sustainability, an international, cross-disciplinary, scholarly, peer-reviewed and open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings
  • Written for academic audiences with familiarity with the discipline
  • Theoretical and analytical
  • Over 100 references that can be cross-checked listed

Non-Scholarly Article

  • Written by a professional, reporter, political pundit, or general writer
  • Takes the form of a newspaper or magazine article, blogpost, informal website, social media post, YouTube video, etc. 
  • May or may not include references/bibliography or notes
  • Uses language appropriate for a general audience
  • Is informational but does not present original empirical research
  • Does not require discipline specific knowledge
  • Typically a narrative or biographical story
  • May be sponsored by a commercial or political organization

Example: 10 Influential Women in Engineering by Chitra Sethi

  • Authored by an editorial director with a background in engineering
  • Published by ASME in Mechanical Engineering Magazine
  • Written for a lay audience
  • Narrative or biographical story
  • No bibliography listed 

Information sourced from: https://jsou.libguides.com/c.php?g=187414&p=1393486

Evaluating Books and e-Books

Scholarly Book

  • Written by a scholar, researcher, PhD holder in the field, professor
  • Utilizes extensive primary source documentation
  • Uses discipline specific terminology, methodology, theory
  • Advances research or contributes to a discipline of study
  • May be a monograph or edited compilation of contributions from multiple scholars
  • Published by a university or scholarly association

Example: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering by J. Paulo Davim

  • Authored by a Professor with a PhD of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Published by Springer
  • Written for academic audiences with familiarity with the discipline
  • Theoretical and analytical
  • Part of a larger series on materials forming, machining and tribology 

Popular Non-Fiction Book

  • Written by a professional, reporter, political pundit, writer
  • May or may not include references or notes
  • Uses language appropriate for a general audience
  • Is informational but does not present original empirical research
  • Does not require discipline specific knowledge
  • Typically a narrative or biographical story
  • Published by trade publishers (i.e., Harper Collins, Random House)

Example: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

  • Authored by an award winning writer
  • Published by Random House
  • Written for a lay audience
  • Narrative or biographical story
  • Review from popular sources: Salon, The Economist, New York Times

Information sourced from: https://jsou.libguides.com/c.php?g=187414&p=1393486

Evaluating Online Sources

How to Evaluate Web Resources Infographic

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