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Criminal Justice Databases

Overview of Scholarly Publishing Process

Peer Review

What is peer-review?
The rigorous process articles undergo before they are published. Scholars in the author's field or discipline review and evaluate the article for quality and validity. If lacking, the article may be rejected. Reviewers often offer suggestions for revision as a condition of acceptance.

 

SIFT to Verify Sources and Claims on the Web

SIFT: 4 Moves for Investigating a Source

There are 4 easy steps you can take to verify sources and claims on the web.

1. Stop. Ask yourself whether you know and trust the website or source of the information. If you don't, use the other moves to get a sense of what you're looking at. If you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of fact-checking STOP and recall your goal. Approach the problem at the right amount of depth for your purpose.

2. Investigate the Source. You can usually do this with a quick web or Wikipedia search. Taking sixty seconds to figure out where it is from before reading will help you decide if it is worth your time, and if it is, help you to better understand its significance and trustworthiness.

3. Find Trusted Coverage. Look for other trusted reporting or analysis on the claim. Find the best source you can that covers it, or scan multiple sources to see what the consensus seems to be. Find coverage that better suits your needs—more trusted, more in-depth, or maybe just more varied.

4. Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media Back to the Original Context. Stuff you see on the web is often commentary on the re-reporting of re-reporting on some original story or piece of research. Here's an example of how to trace this.

Additionally, a lot of things you find on the internet have been stripped of context. Looking for the context can help inform you of the source's reliability.

Adapted from https://hapgood.us/2019/06/19/sift-the-four-moves/ by Mike Caulfield

Types of Periodicals

 

Scholarly Journals

Trade Publications

Popular Magazines

Newspapers

Examples

Social Psychology Quarterly

Advertising Age

Time

New York Times

Content

Primary account of original research (i.e. research papers); In-depth analyses of issues in the field; Articles often include abstract, method, discussion, tables, conclusion, and references/bibliography; May include editorials or commentaries

Current news, trends, or products in an industry or professional organization; Statistics, forecasts, employment and career information; Ads

Current events and news; General information with purpose to entertain or inform; Analyses of popular culture; Secondary account of someone else's research that may include opinion; Ads

Current events and news that may be local, regional, national or international; Editorials; Primary source for information on recent events; Ads

Audience

Researchers, scholars, professors, etc.

Practitioners and professionals

General population

General population

Language

Academic, specialized jargon that uses the language of the discipline; Requires some relevant expertise

Specialized jargon or terminology of the field

Easily understandable, non-technical language

Easily understandable, non-technical language

Authors

Researchers, scholars, professors, etc.

Practitioners in the field, industry professionals, or journalists with subject expertise

Journalists or staff writers

Journalists or staff writers

Editorial Process

Volunteer editorial board and usually peer review

Paid editors

Paid editors

Paid editors; Editorial review may be minimal for breaking news

References

Always includes references, footnotes, or bibliographies

Sometimes includes references in text or short bibliographies

References are rare

Rarely cite sources in full

Publishers

Universities, scholarly presses, or academic organizations

Commercial publishers or trade and professional organizations

Commercial publishers

Commercial publishers

Example Databases

JSTOR, Sociological Abstracts

ABI Inform, Business Source Premier

Readers Guide, Academic Search Complete

LexisNexis Academic, Access NewspaperARCHIVE

What is peer-review?
The rigorous process that articles undergo before they are published. Scholars in the author's field or discipline review and evaluate the article for quality and validity. If lacking, the article may be rejected. Reviewers often offer suggestions for revision as a condition of acceptance. Watch Peer Review in 3 Minutes (NCSU) for more details.

 

This chart is adapted from Northwestern University's Evaluating Articles page.

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