How to differentiate between credible sources and non-credible source? Also, what is the difference between a scholarly article/journal and a non-scholarly article?
There are many ways to differentiate between credible and non-credible sources for information. Since online research is the most common these days, I'll describe how to size up sources on the web.
Here are some ways to begin differentiation between credible and non-credible sources on the internet:
Check the web address:
.gov (government) sites are usually credible for facts and information, but they can often carry a political bias.
.org (nonprofit organization) sites are also pretty credible for information, but consider what the organization promotes, its agenda, if its trying to sell something, etc.
.edu (education institution) sites are most likely credible sources, but consider if what you're reading was written by a professional (for example, a publications editor), a professor, or a student.
.com (business) or .net (large network) sites can become a little trickier to decipher how credible they are. Consider whether the article is selling or reporting, and whether the article is for an organization or a private individual.
On any site, take note of who the author or sponsoring organization is. If you can find an author or even a corporate author, I might not consider the site credible.
Check the last date of revision or copyright date. You usually want current information, unless you're gathering historical information.
Notice if there are too many typographical or grammatical errors. This can sometimes clue you in on the author and their credibility.
Make sure that the author of the article/site provides documentation for the sources of information used i the article.