Writing makes you think. You really have to take into consideration a lot of things. While having a flow of ideas and relatable language are important to your audience, it is critical to ensure that your content is relevant and credible. Credibility starts with where you gather your information. In this article will will cover how to access data in research data sources. There are so many sources that one can leverage when it comes to information gathering but the need to evaluate your sources is far more important.
What to Consider
There are certain things that you can consider when evaluating the internet websites and sources that you wish to cite.
• The number of users who can edit the information. Sites that restrict editing can be more reliable than those without any restrictions. This can work to your advantage as this means that the users are verified and the information is reliable.
• The qualifications of the person giving the information. If you are working on an article that is more specific, particularly on matters to do with health, the person from whom you source the information is very important.
• The date when the information was last edited or created. It is crucial to have information that is recent and not outdated. Having information that dates more than five years back might render your article irrelevant to your target population. This is particularly so if you are doing something based on facts and not opinions.
What to Avoid
Now that you know what to consider when you are looking at a source for your article, there are certain websites that you must avoid.
• Wikipedia. Wikipedia is every researcher’s best friend. However the down side is on the fact that this site has multiple users and the anyone is allowed to edit. Even though people usually list their sources, the fact that there is no criteria to vet who makes the changes, the information may be flawed.
• Yahoo Answers. This is one very interactive platform where you can get a solution to virtually anything that you need. On the contrary most of the information that you get are subject to opinions. You would not want to have your article dependent on other people’s opinion, would you?
• Blogs. Certain blogs can be very insightful but most of the blogs source their information from other blogs. This might sound paradoxical but rarely will you find authentic information from bloggers, particularly when they are writing on the same topic.
Where to Look
While the above sites are merely examples of where not to look, there are alternatives that you can explore and find useful and credible information at the same time.
• Scholarly sites can give you insight when you are writing articles based on facts. Google scholar is one site that can help you if you are writing an article that is more or less academic.
• Accredited sites for certain universities such Harvard and Cambridge have blogs and from various intellectuals on a number of fields that can be useful to you.
• It even better to come with your own content, particularly if you are writing on fairly easy topics such as fashion.
Giving an article your own touch that is evidence based is a sure way to offer your readers the most reliable information.