This journal article evaluation is the third of the three source evaluations will be due during the semester.
- This must be an evaluation of an article from a scholarly journal. This journal must be peer reviewed. Magazines are edited, but not peer reviewed, so you should not use a magazine article for this article (e.g., not Wired, National Geographic, Newsweek, etc.).
I encourage you to discuss search strategies in class and on the blog as you explore various sources.
Discuss the process (but not necessarily with additional comments)
Time will be short after you have posted your journal article, so you do not have to comment on another student's journal article posting, though you may do so if you wish.
The website evaluation should include the following 7 parts:
- A complete citation for the journal article
- This citation must be in American Psychological Association (APA) format. APA is the citation format most commonly used in the social sciences. If you are not familiar with this format, you should locate a style guide. The following links may be helpful with this format
- The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the definitive guide to APA format. Every reasonably sized library should have a copy of this
- Strategy for finding the journal article
- How did you find the journal article?
- What database, book, bibliography, etc. did you find this source in? (if appropriate)
- What was your rationale for selecting that journal article? In other words, why did you think that journal article would be useful for your research?
- Rationale for selection of the journal article
- Why did you think that the journal article would be useful for your research, before you reviewed it? (Whether or not the journal article in fact turned out to be useful; you'll discuss that later.)
- General evaluation of the journal article
- The authority, scope, intended audience, and currency or timeliness of the journal article.
- Select the evaluation criteria that are most appropriate for evaluating this particular journal article.
- List each and write a short explanation of how well the journal article fulfills the criteria.
- You will find these resources helpful in writing this section of
the portfolio entry
- For All Entries
- Quaratiello, A. R. (2000). The College Student's Research Companion. New York: Neal-Schuman. Evaluating What You've Found, 134-138. Covers authority, content, accuracy, and currency
- For Journal Articles
- Tenopir, C. (1999). Online databases: Database use in academic libraries. Library Journal, 124(8), 36-38. Covers content, convenience (search features), ease of use, referrals, familiarity, and full text
- For All Entries
- Other criteria you might choose to use
- audience, primary vs. secondary, scholarly vs. popular, logical consistency, search features, functionality
- Example strategies used to search within the journal article
- How did you find information within the journal article?
- What terms did you use to search the journal article?
- How did you combine these terms?
- What other strategies did you use to find information within the journal article?
- What were the results of your searches within the journal article?
- Keep in mind that many searches are conducted in multiple sessions, so your search strategy should evolve as you work with a journal article over time. For each journal article, your evaluation must include what you consider to be an exemplary search strategy for that journal article and a brief discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy. This discussion will conclude with a brief summary of your evaluation of the information actually yielded by the journal article.
- A brief summary of the information yielded by the journal article. This follows up your rationale for selecting the
journal article: your
rationale for selection is why you thought that the journal article would be
useful before you reviewed it; this section should explain how your
opinion of the journal article changed once you actually reviewed it. This
section should answer the following questions
- What information does the journal article as a whole contain?
- What information does the journal article contain that is relevant to your research question?
- How does the journal article help you (or not) to answer your research question?
- A revised draft of your research question, if one is needed
After reviewing each journal article, your research question may change radically or slightly. Include your revised research question and a brief description of the reason(s) for the revision. As the semester progresses your question will come to be better formed, so it is likely that it will change less as you review more journal articles. If your research question does not change after reviewing a journal article, write that up as well and give an explanation of why the journal article did not cause you to revise your question.
Points: 10% of course grade per source evaluation = 30% for all three evaluations
The journal article evaluation should include:
- an evaluation of an appropriate journal article (e.g., an article from a peer-reviewed journal)
- a discussion of your strategy for finding the source
- a discussion of your rationale for selecting the source
- a discussion of example strategies that you used to search within the source
- a brief summary of the information yielded by the source
- an evaluation of the source according to the evaluation criteria discussed in class, and any other criteria that are appropriate
- appropriate spelling, grammar, & writing style
The standards which will be used for grading this task are listed on the downloadable gradesheet.