While the textbook’s first suggestion for evaluating online sources is to ensure the site is sponsored by a reputable organization and not only one individual, the same is true for the article itself. A method for determining the reliability of an online source is to see whether there are multiple authors of a specific article. A source having multiple authors indicates in-depth literature review and/or original research conduction. The existence of multiple authors also reveals there are a variety of lenses contributing to the article’s drafting. Even within a given degree area, every author holds specific knowledge about a specific subtopic. Every author’s knowledge-base is a reflection of experiences between birth and now. Moreover, considering authors of peer-reviewed articles typically experienced a high level of education in the field, the breadth of knowledge each individual brings to the table is substantial.
Secondarily, I also look for peer-reviewed articles with proper organization including the use of abstract and conclusion sections. That way, in the case of dealing with many sources for a research project, I can efficiently gather the main ideas of each article. I use the abstract and conclusion to determine whether the argument is logical and pertinent to my topic. In the abstract, I can also determine whether the methods used to arrive at the conclusion are sound and appropriate to include in my own research paper.
I agree with investigating the citations within the article. Not only does it confirm the source is reliable, but it also opens up the possibility of discovering additional articles to use in our own research papers. In the case a certain set of information from a peer-reviewed article is particularly useful, I can look into the source it is derived from and find a third useful citation within the second article. The benefit infinitely continues.