5 Criteria of Evaluation
Is the information accurate? Does the writing style, spelling, grammar, and language use promote an understanding of accuracy? Are cited sources quoted and/or their information transmitted and used appropriately and in the correct context?
Who is the author? Does it have an author cited? Does that author have a background that supports his authority in the field being written about? Does he have degrees from appropriately accredited and respected schools in the field? Is the author's work cited by others in the field? Does the author appropriately site other respected authors in the field? Is the publishing authority that contains the work of a reputable/authoritative nature? Does the publishing authority have vetting processes it employs for authors and works (peer reviewing, editorial functions, etc.?)
What is the objective of the work? Is it promoting a particular set of ideologies or selling something? Is its purpose to provide access to material without promoting a bias, or does it promote one paradigm of understanding over another? How forthright is the author regarding promotional intent or personal/professional bias? Is such bias supported and tested by cited research?
What is the date of publication? Does it have a publication date? How does that currency relate to accuracy of the topic being discussed? Have the ideas being discussed been tested and disproved/modified since publication (especially in the sciences?)
Is the topic sufficiently narrow or broad to meet the needs associated with its understanding? Are major industries, fields, or expert research associated with the topic appropriately covered to glean accurate representation of the material?
(*Note: These five criteria interact with one another to produce an understanding regarding the evaluation materials.)
Scholarly vs. Trade vs. Popular
|Scholarly Publication||Trade Publication||Popular Magazines|
|Appearance||Usually plain paper, black and white illustrations, pages consecutive through volumes||Usually glossy paper, illustrations in color, issue page numbers begin with page 1,||Glossy cover, illustrations in color, issues page number begin with page 1|
|Audience||Researchers, teachers, and professionals||Professionals in a particular field of interest or industry||Nonprofessionals|
|Authors||Credentials are provided, scholars or field professionals with subject expertise||Credentials often but not always provided, professional in the field or a journalist with subject expertise||Credentials often not provided or insufficient, paid journalists who may or may not have subject expertise|
|Vetting Process||Peer reviewed and/or editor reviewed, professional and scholarly ethics, accountability to the scholarly field||Editor reviewed and controlled by professional ethics and journalist ethics||Editor reviewed, journalist ethics|
|Publishers||Scholarly or professional organization or university press||Trade or Industry organization||For profit commercial publisher|
|Content||Research, methodology, theory, scholarly articles||Industry trends, organizational news, products and techniques||News, general articles, entertainment, popular persuasion|
|Writing Style/Language Use||Uses terminology and language of the scholarly subject discipline||Uses terminology or language of the trade or industry covered||Simple language use, layperson terminology|
|References||Bibliography, works cited, references||Rarely references, sources usually not cited||Sources usually not cited|
The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
Journal of Teacher Education
Ethanol Producer Magazine