In this day and age, we are lucky to have a surplus of scholarly information at our fingertips. No more are the hours of paging through card catalogs or scrolling through microfiche. The internet has made research easy – but it’s also made finding unreliable and false information easy.  Finding reputable research is always important, but especially so if you’re looking online. Knowing what information is credible and reputable is crucial for your dissertation or thesis work.

While each discipline has different benchmarkers for evaluating the quality of research, here are some general things to keep in mind when looking for sources:

Avoid Wikipedia. Wikipedia is able to be edited by multiple users and is constantly changing – and is not always accurate. It is not a scholarly or reputable source and should not be used as such.

Use your library! Whether it is your school/university library or your local library, the library is a wealth of information. Databases, research materials, and the librarians can all be hugely valuable resources for your research. Databases like EBSCO, LexisNexis, and others can provide you with a plethora of scholarly articles that are credible. Librarians can help you determine which databases might be helpful to you, where to start looking, and how to suss out what isn’t great.

Use caution with articles. Choose articles from peer-reviewed journals that are known in your field. Peer-reviewed articles have gone through careful examination and vetting, and are the gold standard in research. Magazine articles might be okay, if they are trade magazines in the field and the articles are well-researched and objective. They should not be your main source of information.

Avoid blogs and be critical with websites. Blogs and websites should never be main sources of information for a dissertation or thesis. If you read any blogs or websites on your topic, be critical of what you read, see who is writing it, and look to see if claims or information is backed up by research – and then find that information and those studies instead.

When in doubt, ask. Talk with your cohort, ask your professor or mentor, or find a professional editor who can ensure all of your research is from credible sources. If you’re having trouble finding sources, a consultation with an editor from Thesis Editor can help guide your research journey, and our research assistance can help bulk up your research stores.

We know that while having access to research is valuable, it can also be overwhelming. If you’re not used to it, you can easily become lost and choose articles or studies that are not reputable or just plain incorrect. Thesis Editor is here to help. All of our editors have been where you are and have done multiple research projects – or even work in research – and can help guide you toward reputable, credible sources. Your research is the backbone of your dissertation or thesis: you can’t afford to go wrong with your sources. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!
< Self-Care During COVID-19 EndNote: An Introduction >

Tagged under: Dissertation Research   General Dissertation   Graduate School   Scholarly Writing   academic research   academic services   professional services   research   research services  

I cannot sing the praises of Thesis Editor highly enough.

I am a third year PhD student and I had been struggling for months with my quantitative analysis (both running and interpreting my tests). Any support I had sought out from my institution ended up leaving me more confused than when I arrived. I came across Thesis Editor whilst I was searching online for some stats help, and I am so thankful that I did.

If like I was, you are struggling with an aspect of your PhD, perhaps do not seem to be able to get the help you need from your institution or outside, you will not regret using Thesis Editor.

Dawn, the Director, was absolutely brilliant from beginning to end. I was contacted promptly after my initial enquiry, and there was a very quick turnaround to which a quote was given after assessing my work. I was then assigned a statistitian, Dr Musicha, and received extremely comprehensive feedback within one week. This was then followed by a 1-hour consultation. My consultation with Dr Musicha was nothing less than phenomenal. Honestly I cannot even put into words how much I gained in the hour together. He not only helped me built my knowledge but practically had me share my screen and walked me through my challenges on SPSS so I had a thorough understanding - something that has not been done with my university throughout my PhD. I was taught more in that hour about my quant stats than I have by anyone else. He was also just so kind, and encouraging and really boosted my confidence.

Using Thesis Editor has been an invaluable investment, and I can only thank Dawn and Dr Musicha so dearly.

- Beth

Read More Client Testimonials

Unlock Doctoral Success with our #1 Best Selling Book