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Counseling and School Psychology

What Makes a Good Resource?/Evaluate Your Resources


Credentials/Who Wrote it?

  • Is the author(s) listed? 
  • Affiliation- are they a professional researcher/faculty? (Look for university or research center next to their name in the article)

Peer Reviewed?

  • Is the journal peer-reviewed? (Use peer-reviewed checkbox in Search at UW and Databases to make sure?
  • If the article is peer-reviewed, is it a meaningful article? Pieces less than 1-2 pages are usually book reviews, conference presentation summaries, or editorials. These aren't the best sources, even if they are peer-reviewed. 
  • If you're not sure if a journal is peer-reviewed, look at the "about us" or "editorial review" section of the journal's website. It will usually be mentioned there. It will also have a purple "peer-reviewed" flag in Search at UW.


  • Look for the words "quantitative" and "empirical" studies.
  • Is the article a brief summary or is it presenting an original idea/research?
  • Articles presenting original research tend to have these parts:
    • ​Abstract/summary at the top of the article  (These are a HUGE time saver to see what the article is about before reading, by the way!)
    • Literature review of other research and/or citations of other research
    • Methods/Explanation of research conducted
    • Data (charts, diagrams, statistics)