Throughout the research process, you should be evaluating your sources to determine if they meet your research needs. Below are some guidelines to follow in the evaluation of your sources. These guidelines can be applied to books, articles, websites and any other resource you may be using.
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How do I know if a journal is important and respected in its field?
Most scholars and professors are familiar with the top journals in their fields but as a beginning researcher it is hard to know which journals are important. To find respected journals in a field, try the following:
Impact factor measures the number of articles cited from a journal in a particular year. The assumption is that a journal which has many articles cited in other research is a journal in which important or highly valued research is being published.
The impact factor is just one way to measure the importance of a journal and some scholars feel too much weight has been given to this measurement. Use cautiously and in conjunction with other measurements.
There are two algorithms for measuring impact Factor ISI's Impact Factor and the Eigenfactor. Both can be found utilizing the Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters in the Web of Science.
For more on various impact factors, go to : http://guides.library.cornell.edu/impact.
Further questions to consider:
Most scholarly research articles follow the same structure. Below is a basic outline of this structure. Note that different articles may use different names for the sections, combine some sections, or separate other sections. Some sections may be larger in some articles and smaller in other articles. However, you will find roughly the same information, in the same order, in all articles. Knowing what to expect from each section of an article can help you read and understand it more easily.