When discerning research protocol, there are three areas to consider:
1. Discussion of sources (print and electronic):*2. Determining the authority and credibility of the author.• Books
• Scholarly/professional journals
• Newspapers/news magazines
• Popular magazines
• Niche publications.Important questions to consider:3. Determining the authority and credibility, objectivity, currency, coverage, and reputation of the publication.• Who is the author?
• What are his/her credentials?
• Is the author writing from his/her position of authority within his/her specified field of expertise?
• Does the author have an agenda, for example, is he/she a paid spokesperson for a commercial or even a non-profit enterprise?Important questions to consider:• What is the reputation of the publication?
• How long has the publication been in business? (In websites, the age of the site and the domain name can be important indicators of credibility.)
• What is its slant or political viewpoint?
• Are its articles well-written and presented in an objective manner?
• How important is extremely current information to the readers of this publication? How current are its articles and information in general?
• Is this a niche publication? If so, what is its focus?
• How thoroughly does the publication cover its topics?
• How relevant is the publication to YOUR topic?