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Research Basics Guide: Evaluating Sources

This guide provides details on accessing information for your research at KCU

Criteria for Evaluting Sources

Not all sources are created equal. 

Here are some good tips to make sure the sources you're looking at are reliable, trustworthy, and appropriate for your research needs. If you ever have questions about a source, get in touch with one of our librarians. 

Retraction Watch Database

The Retraction Watch Database allows researchers to check the retraction status and reasons behind an articles retraction. You can search by topic, article title, reasons for retraction, PMID and more. Here you'll find thousands of articles that have been retracted, along with the reasons for their retractions and original publication information. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar has a really helpful feature: it shows how many times an article has been cited. Keep in mind that the number of citations isn't everything. WHERE it is cited and published matters more than the overall number of times. Google Scholar accounts for this by pulling up the citation information for all these "cited by" articles and letting you browse them. 


Indexed Journals

Indexed Journals are considered to be of higher scientific quality than non-indexed journals. For medical and biosciences journals, PubMed indexing is a sign that you are looking at a reputable source. 


Another safe bet is to look at what journals KCU has subscriptions to. Our goal is to provide access to authoritative, reliable information for our faculty and students. Keep in mind that we do not have subscriptions to ALL journals, but we do try to offer a broad coverage of osteopathic resources and research journals.