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HIS 205 - Historical Inquiry


Finding sources is only the first part of the research process. Once you locate sources, you need to be able to evaluate them to see if they're appropriate not only for a college paper but for your paper.

This is mostly about applying critical thinking skills and common sense.

Evaluate by applying the TAAP test

Confirming that a Journal is Peer-reviewed

Want to find out if a particular journal is peer reviewed? You can look up the journal title (not the article title) in UlrichsWeb Global Serials Directory.

ulrichs web logo

Once you find an entry for the journal title in UlrichsWeb, look at the symbols on the left and see if there is a symbol for a referee shirt like those worn by sports referees:

referee jersey

If you find this symbol that means the journal is refereed, which is another way of saying it is peer reviewed.

Things to Watch Out For

  • Self-published material (this means it hasn't been edited or reviewed by someone else)
  • No author named
  • Inflammatory or emotional language
  • Statistics, facts, or research referred to but not cited
  • Opinions presented as fact
  • Statements/conclusions that contradict other credible sources

ART: Authorship, Relevance, Timeliness


  • When was the source written relative to the events it discusses?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?



  • Who is the author/publisher/source?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
  • What does the URL extension reveal about the author or source? (.com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net, .mli, .jobs, .biz)


  • Does the author cite their sources?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?


  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intention or purpose clear?
  • Is the information Fact? Opinion? Propaganda?