Types of Resources
Articles from scholarly journals are written by professionals—usually college professors—in their subject areas. These articles are subject to peer review before being published. This means that they have been reviewed by several other professionals in the subject area before being published. Articles from scholarly journals are typically very good sources to consult during your research.
The Valor library has many books available for students’ research needs. Books are typically good resources to consult, but you do need to keep an eye out for bias. For example, if you find a book about a law that was passed recently, you should be aware that the author might be biased for or against the law. This will likely affect how he or she presents the information in the book.
There are some magazines available in the Valor library. Many magazines and newspapers are also published online. Many of them are good sources of information, but you do need to look out for bias. Most of them—newspapers, especially—have an editorial slant.
Websites (good, not-so-good):
There are many websites on the internet. Some of them can serve as good sources for research, and others are questionable. One thing you can do to determine who is responsible for a website is look at the very end of the URL. If it ends in .gov or .edu, then the website is made by a government or educational institution. The website will probably be a fairly reliable source of information.
Websites that end in .com are commercial websites, and websites that end in .org are usually from a non-profit organization. Sometimes these sites (especially .com sites) are personal websites or blogs. You can find good information on these sites, but sometimes the people who run them might not be totally qualified to talk about the subject at hand or might have strong biases regarding the subject, or both.
If you are doing research and stumble upon a website that seems to have the information you are looking for, look around the website to see who is responsible for the site, and then try to see if that person is qualified or has any biases that might influence the information.