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Library Research Skills for Biologists

Evaluation tools

Here are a few examples of tools you can use to learn more about your information source.


Ulrichsweb is a directory of magazines and journals. Look up the title of a source you are considering using in your paper. Scroll to Content Type to see if it is an Academic/Scholarly source or a Consumer source. As discussed earlier, this gives you an indication of why this information was created and can help you to critically evaluate it.

Tip: Check your assignment criteria. If you have been asked to use Peer Review sources for your assignment, use Academic/Scholarly sources.

Example: An Academic/Scholarly source 

Example: A Consumer source

Ulrich - Content Type - Consumer


Web of Science

Web of Science shows the number of times that an article has been cited by other papers. This is one indicator of whether an information source is being consulted and referenced by the scholarly community. (See also Google Scholar's Cited References).


Journal Citation Reports

Journal citation reports is used to search for the impact factor of journals. It is one method of assessing sources by the scholarly community's use of the particular research to further the scholarly conversation on this topic.