Finding the right source will depend on your information need, and may take multiple search attempts. Research is a journey and builds on itself. As you find more relevant information, you can use their terminology as search keywords to potentially find more useful sources. If it’s a scholarly article, look at the literature review and reference list to identify other possible sources.
When evaluating whether an article is the “right source,” read the abstract (if available) to determine if it’s related to your topic. If it appears to be useful, skim the article. Does the article make a relevant claim, and does it support that claim? Does it align with aspects of your research paper? Does the source meet the criteria of your assignment? If so, it might be a good source for your paper.
Peer-reviewed materials (journals and books), also known as refereed or scholarly journals and books, have a specific purpose of presenting findings and expanding the knowledge in a discipline. Unlike popular publications, peer-reviewed materials undergo a rigorous blind peer-reviewed process by multiple experts in a field to determine if the information is credible. Authors of these works are scholars or researchers with related credentials and scholarly affiliations. Many of the Lilly Library databases allow you to filter your search results to these types of publications.
Evaluating news sources, including newspapers, podcasts, broadcast TV, and more can be tricky when you're unfamiliar with the title. Use adfontesmedia bias chart to help!
SIFT was originally developed by Michael Caulfield.