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Getting Started in the Library: Assessing Resources

This guide helps students and faculty get started navigating the library's online resources.

Assessing Resources

Assessing Resources

Books: Books can be tricky to assess for scholarly content. Generally the library evaluates the content of print material before ordering items and placing them in the collection. Some things to look for:

  • Is the book published by a University Press Publisher?
  • Credentials of author or editor:  are they an expert in the field, a professor? Conduct some investigations to find out, use Google.
  • Are there citations and a bibliography?
  • Are there reviews of the book by the author’s peers?

Journal Articles: If you are searching for articles through the library's Discover Search, use the advanced search option and click scholarly peer reviewed under the limit search results box. The same applies when searching in individual databases. Having said that, it's still always a good idea to assess a journal article on its own merits.

  • Is the journal published by a University Press or Professional Organization?
  • Are the author’s credentials included?
  • Does the article include citations and a bibliography?
  • Does the article have an abstract?
  • Is the journal mostly text (with some illustration and tables) or does it have advertisements?

Websites: Websites can be useful tools for accessing information. Keep in mind though that information on the Internet is not always current, accurate or authoritative. Ask questions like:

  • Who made and maintains this site ? What are their credentials ? Is the information current ?
  • What is the domain name of the site? Sites with .edu and .gov should provide credible information
  • Is there an about page on the site that states who made it?

Keep in mind, just because you find something on the library shelves or though one of the library's databases does not mean it is a scholarly source.

Get Help

Visit the reference desk or schedule an appointment with a reference librarian to discuss your research. See Contact the Library page for details.

Contact Us

 library@ecuad.ca       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC