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How to find credible sources to write a paper 

When writing a scientific article, there are many pitfalls along the author’s path. Near-scientific information passed off as scientific work, unproven research, manipulation of facts, and outright lies all make it difficult to find reliable information. Often, students think, “I will find a dedicated researcher who will write a paper for me.” They don’t want to put any effort into writing a paper, much less finding information. Today, we will tell you how easy it is to find reliable sources to write a quality paper.

Where to look for reliable sources

The main means of finding literature for academic papers should be specialized search engines and scientific libraries.

The principle of the search is no different — you enter keywords in the line and click “Search”. The main difference is that as a result you get a selection of verified scientific articles — indicating authorship, year and place of publication. One of the most popular services for finding reliable articles is Google Scholar.

Google Scholar is a specialized service for text search of scientific publications and books from all over the world. It is this service that will replace your usual Google search while you are writing your paper. In Google Scholar you can:

  1. Search for the full texts of textbooks, both English and foreign;
  2. Search for English-language and foreign-language academic articles;
  3. search for published texts of dissertations from around the world.

A convenient search for reliable scientific literature is the main advantage of Google Scholar. This is where the world’s largest database of scientific publications is assembled. It’s simple: you type the right keywords into the search box and look for the right publications. If you find a source in Google Scholar, you can safely use it in your work.

Of course, no one cancelled trips to libraries and archives, where you can search for sources manually. But is this romanticism worth the time spent, if everything can be found online? We recommend turning to traditional methods of searching literature only if online hasn’t not given you the results.

What is fact-checking and why is it so important?

Fact-checking is a principle of working with facts, a set of measures for checking their reliability. It comes from the world of journalism, but is becoming increasingly relevant in scientific circles as well. When you are looking for reliable sources for your article, you should always check the following facts:

Determine the professionalism of the source

Try to estimate the amount of time and money spent on the article. As a rule of thumb, the more time and money is spent on publishing the material, the higher the probability of its high credibility. Bad design, poor layout, too many ads and spam, pop-ups — all this is a clear indicator that the resource is designed not to inform, but to make money. A good site with reliable information looks professional and serious.

Find out the name of the author of the publication

Trust the information from any source can be only if it is signed by the name of the author with a certain scientific weight in a particular field. It is better to discard articles without authorship right away. But if you are going to emphasize the author’s name, it is worth highlighting the following points: where the author works, his goals and values, what authoritative institution he is affiliated with and how it benefits from his work, what education he has, whether he has other publications, what experience he has, whether he is an innovator/conservative, whether his work and ideas are cited in other authoritative sources.

Determine the publication date of the article or publication

The date of publication is especially important for scientific articles. But literary sources are not so dependent on it. Publications with the earliest dates or reprinted several times are considered the most authoritative.

Find information about the publisher

This information will give you a clue as to whether the publication is worth believing.

Try to determine the target audience of the publication

The broader the audience the publication is dedicated to, the more likely it is to contain contradictory or even unreliable information. It is just as harmful to use too specialized sources. People often misunderstand the essence of a publication and misinterpret information. In this case, you risk damaging your reputation as much as you would if you used false information.

Research the references

How do you search for a reference list? Not only pay attention to the date and author, but also to reviews on the Internet or in the scientific community. Excessive controversy is a strong argument to exclude this article from the reference list. However, no one is stopping you from searching and analyzing any author’s work on your own.

Look up where the author whose work you are referring to took his sources

Whoever wrote the article you are interested in, he also relied on some data, studies, and articles. And the more references the author makes, the more likely they are reliable. Rarely, but rarely, it happens that you refer to a respected author who has used unreliable sources for publication. This is not an indication of unprofessional scholarship, but only of a non-serious approach to preparing this publication.

Consider the objectivity of the data

Try to find out if there is any financial or emotional connection between the author and the subject of his research. As a rule, if there is such a connection, a subjective attitude toward the subject will be obvious. If so, there is a high risk of biased information. The objectivity of the data can be assessed by analyzing the author’s statements, the presence of his personal assessments, the selected words. For example, the use of terms such as “good” and “bad” indicates an unscientific and biased attitude towards the topic. A professional scientist will never stoop to a personal assessment of a subject or phenomenon, he will introduce the facts, comment on the legality or illegality of actions. And all of this is necessarily without any emotional coloring of what is going on. The words “good, bad, disgusting” are a vividly colored personal assessment.

Find out if there are sponsors of print media or another source

The credibility of even a serious source can be greatly affected by sponsors, who often have their own ulterior motives.







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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.