Research Assistance - Credible Sources

Using credible sources

Information can come from many places. The type of information you need will depend on your assignment.  While gathering your resources, keep in mind how credible your sources are. The resources below are ranked from best to worst:

Journal articles

  • Written by scholars or experts on the subject. They usually include the author’s name and credentials
  • Provide critical analysis of topics
  • Provide references such as footnotes and/or bibliographies
  • Typically reviewed and critically evaluated by other scholars

Magazine articles

  • Written by journalists or magazine staff.  They seldom include the writer’s credentials
  • Provide a broad overview on a topic and do not discuss the topic in-depth
  • Written for the general public
  • Are not usually reviewed by experts

Newspaper articles

  • Written by journalists or newspaper staff
  • Provide articles about current events
  • Are a good source of local information
  • Can be found in print, microfiche, microfilm, or the web


  • Education, government, and organization sites (ending in .edu, .gov. or .org) can provide excellent and authoritative information
  • Other sites may contain false and misleading information
  • Should be checked for credibility
  • Sites that provide links to magazine, journal, and newspaper articles tend to have more credible information

Contact Info

320.308.5000 or 1.800.222.1009

1540 Northway Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303