Evaluating your results

nu-skills-hub-300Reviewing and evaluating your searches in important.  You need to make sure that the results you identify meet your initial search criteria and is of sufficient academic quality.

In order to review your results think about whether the results are what you were expecting or hoping for.  You may need to modify your search to be more specific or even to broaden out your topic to get more results.  Also think about whether you are being realistic in your search expectations, if you are searching for articles on a subject that is very new then you may not get many full length peer reviewed articles, therefore your expectations may need to reflect that.

This video is a great starting point for how to evaluate information.

Some of the key questions you need to ask in order to evaluate your results are below:

  • Authority – who has written the information and what qualifies them to provide this information?  Are the references used traceable and have they discussed the evidence they used thoroughly?
  • Objectivity – for what purpose has the information been published – commercial or political? Has the work been commissioned by an organisation or an individual? Who is the intedned audience? Do any of these factors affect the arguments being made or the objectivity of thie information?
  • Currency – Can you tell when the information was created and updated? Is there more current research on the topic?  How important is this for your topic?
  • Evidence – are there references? Are any statistics or data provided and are they significant? Has any original research been carried out?
  • Relevance – is the information pitched at the right level for your needs?  Is the topic coverd appropriate for you? Does the information related to groups or countries of interest or that can be used for correlation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *