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Research Methods in Healthcare: IHS 4504

Resource Type: How to know which one is the right one for my research project

Jumping into a database can be daunting.  It is important to know what you are looking at and how to evaluate its content.  This page will breakdown concepts to remove the mystery and clarify various terms...

Source Evaluation

Evaluating Websites

  • Accuracy. If your page lists the author and institution that published the page and provides a way of contacting him/her, and
  • Authority. If your page lists the author credentials and its domain is preferred (.edu, .gov, .org, or .net), and
  • Objectivity. If your page provides accurate information with limited advertising, and it is objective in presenting the information, and
  • Currency. If your page is current and updated regularly (as stated on the page) and the links (if any) are also up-to-date, and
  • Coverage. If you can view the information properly (not limited by fees, browser technology, or special software requirements), then you may have a Web page of research value.

Content used and adapted with the permission of the author, Jim Kapoun. Citation: "Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." C&RL News (July/August 1998): 522-523

Qualitative vs Quanitative


Quantitative data is information that you can measure. It’s numbers –something you can count. Because it’s countable it can be reliable evidence. Examples include:

  • How many people took part?
  • How much did it cost?
  • How long did it run for?
  • Average attendance at each programme session?


Qualitative data is information about qualities, you can’t count it. That is, it’s information about how people feel about something. Examples include:

  • Sharing what people like about a programme.
  • How they think it could be improved.
  • What difference it has made to their lives.
  • Whether they would recommend the programme to others.

Retrieved from:

Pyramid of Evidence


Beware! Not all resources are created ==EQUAL==

Identifying Predatory Journals

Beall's List

Cabell's Blacklist

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)


Wikipedia is a No, No!

"Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation"

Campus, W. (2006). Wikipedia founder discourages academic use of his creation. Chronicle of Higher Education.