Research Survival Guide

Page 9 

An Evaluation Tool -- Reviews

Reviews can be useful to learn more about a resource. Since you can't be knowledgeable Scanned Image
about every subject, reviews allow you to quickly learn the opinions of analysts and experts. Knowledgeable reviewers are well versed in their fields and often have practical experience. Though you may not agree with their conclusions, using their experience will help you evaluate your sources.

To find useful reviews:

  • Ask your instructor about what sources of reviews and criticism may be best for your topic
  • For books, ask your librarian to help you identify the best index, article database, or reference sources to find book reviews.
  • For Web sources, try using sites that evaluate pages -
    like Librarians' Index to the Internet [] and the
    Scout Report
    [] - for some indication of their quality.

Careful!  Not all reviews – especially on the Public Web – are written by subject experts. Make sure that you take care to examine the credentials and background of every review’s author.

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