EXERCISE: For the reference you found, answer the questions on this evaluation checklist. Beside the first question, these work for print as well as web resources.
Scientific and quantitative research articles are written differently than articles in the social sciences and humanities. For starters, scientific journals tend to publish a mix of review articles, news, letters or short communications, opinion/editorials, and original research. News sources often report on primary (original) studies in easily understood language but look up the primary article to see if the reporting is accurate! Review articles are summaries of original research that tend to be easier for laypeople to approach.
PRIMARY RESEARCH articles tend to follow a pretty standard layout, consisting of:
1. Original research (includes the data)
2. Usually reported in the following sections:
Analyze and evaluate your search results. Have you found the most authoritative, accurate, objective, up-to-date, scholarly information available on your research topic?
See Evaluating Resources for additional information.
What's peer review and why should you care? Check out this Peer Review in 5 Minutes video.
There are a couple of ways you can tell if a journal is peer-reviewed: