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BIO 11 Ecology



You can evaluate any source using the 5 W's:

  • Who: ...wrote it? Are they an expert?
  • What: the purpose of this resource?
  • Where: ...was this information published? ...does the information come from?
  • When: ...was this published or last updated?
  • Why: this resource useful? this resource better than other ones?

Many college assignments require you to use peer reviewed articles, also known as scholarly or academic articles.  This video from NCSU Library explains what peer review means.

This short video from University WisconsinMadison Libraries explains the difference between primary and secondary scientific

This video from University of Minnesota Libraries describes how to read and understand scientific research articles.

Scholarly articles -- also called peer reviewed or academic articles -- follow a very specific format. 

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article 

Fact-Checking Strategies

Who Published the Site?

To investigate who published this site, leave the Web page itself, open a new tab, and look at what the Web is telling you about the source. For example, look up the publisher on Wikipedia, to quickly check for credibility.

Original vs. Re-Reporting

Go "upstream" to find the original reporting source.

Have Others Already Done the Work?

If a trusted fact-checking site (e.g., Snopes, has already verified your source, then you can rely on their work to save you tons of time!