The Complete Guide For Students To Choosing Reliable Sources in 2022

By Editorial Team Jul 03, 2022

The Complete Guide For Students To Choosing Reliable Sources in 2022

It's critical to use reliable sources while writing a research paper to ensure that the data you are presenting is accurate. With so much information on the internet, it may often be difficult to tell which sources are legitimate and which ones are not. Thankfully, there are some straightforward guidelines you can follow to make sure you consistently use reliable sources when conducting research.

What is a research paper?

A research paper is an academic writing assignment that incorporates original research on a particular subject. There are numerous varieties of research papers, from term papers for high school through master's theses and doctorate dissertations.

Related: The Complete Guide to Writing a Critical Essay

How to Begin a Source Search

1. Start off easy

The simplest and greatest place to begin if you're wondering how to locate sources for a research paper is right here! To find out what you can find, simply try browsing through various popular search engines.

2. Exclude Wikipedia

Despite being a vast repository of information, Wikipedia should never be used when creating a research paper because anyone can alter the content. These websites frequently run the risk of being inaccurate and are not among the most reliable sources for research.

3. Support for academic databases

Your best buddy when it comes to locating reliable sources for your research is a scholarly database. LexisNexis and EBSCO are two reputable and well-respected online scholarly databases that are well-known for giving students access to helpful information.

4. Periodicals, including newspapers

Newspapers and magazines can be a valuable source of current event information, although occasionally being biased.

5. The library

Despite appearing to be the most obvious place to gather information, the library is frequently overlooked when conducting research in the modern era. Don't overlook its potential value!

Types of Reliable Research Sources

1. Which websites are trustworthy?

Numerous online sites may not always provide accurate or verified information. It is therefore crucial that you use the appropriate websites for your study, with governmental and academic websites typically being the most trustworthy., The World Factbook, US Census Bureau, UK Statistics, and Encyclopedia Britannica are all reliable sources for study.

2. Which reputable journal articles are there?

Compared to other sources, evaluating the credibility of journal articles is significantly simpler. This is often because a lot of these websites will include useful details like how often the item has been cited and whether it has undergone peer review.

Websites like Google Scholar, Oxford Academic, Microsoft Academic, Cornell University Library, and SAGE Publishing are excellent examples of trustworthy sources for journal articles.

There is the CRAAP test, which considers the article's Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose, if you're ever unsure of how to identify reliable sources. Before using a source, think about all of these aspects to decide whether or not it is reliable enough. By avoiding using dubious sources, you will ultimately save a ton of time, even if it takes longer now.

3. What reliable news sources are there?

Since it might be challenging to identify sources that are genuinely trustworthy and objective, greater caution must be exercised when reading news stories. For research purposes in this kind of paper, the CRAAP test is also helpful.
The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and The New York Times are a few of the reliable news sources.

Read also: Step-by-Step Literary Analysis Instructions

List of Reliable Research Sources

Finding appropriate sources of information for your study is already a laborious procedure, but it becomes nearly impossible when you also need to consider their credibility. It is still a very important factor to consider, though. Even if it's a two-page middle school essay, using shaky websites like Wikipedia is not encouraged.

Not sure where to look for reliable sources? Not to worry! This wonderful manual was produced for you by professionals from and It goes beyond simply listing the top suggestions for selecting trustworthy websites for study. Additionally, there are a ton of samples of trustworthy sources that you may use for pretty much any kind of paper you could need to write!

What Sorts Of Sources Are Reliable?

Sources to Trust: Definition

Credible sources are often those that have some type of supporting evidence and can be regarded unbiased. You can find a comprehensive list of the factors that define one in well-known dictionaries. For instance, a reliable book would have been published within the last 10 years by reputable and well-known authors.

Reliable sources

  • Articles from Google Schola
  • Texts written within the previous ten years
  • Websites of educational and governmental organizations
  • Texts by reputable authors
  • Academic databases

Unreliable sources

  • Obsolete information
  • Writings created by writers without the necessary qualifications
  • Commercial websites
  • Unreferenced articles
  • Blog postings

Unreliable Sources: Definition

The definition of unreliable sources is the exact reverse of that given above. They should not be utilized, especially if you are writing something important. An obsolete material that came from authors without qualifications would undoubtedly be unreliable. Watch out for unidentified blog postings without any citations as well!

How Do I Know Which Sources Are Reliable?

When looking for reliable sources, there are a number of aspects you need to pay particular attention to.

  • The data must have been published recently—at least within the last several years. Verify the authors' notoriety and recognition to see whether they have any. Most websites established by governmental and educational organizations are trustworthy. If you're still unsure, you may always see if Google Scholar or another academic database has the source.
  • Your instructor or boss could occasionally give you specific requirements for the sources. For instance, you'd have to choose research that were released within the last five or three years.

Why Is It Important to Conduct Research Using Reputable Sources?

If your essay's arguments are founded on material from Wikipedia, nobody will accept them as true. Therefore, spending your time and choosing reliable sources ensures that your arguments will persuade the audience. Reliable supporting data are expected in academic research papers.

In this manner, you as the paper's author win the audience's confidence and support. They can tell that you haven't made it up if your key points come from reliable sources. Additionally, it goes beyond only the issue of authority. Unreliable sources might occasionally contain errors and blunders, which is particularly detrimental for research endeavors. Because you'll then need to edit your text using a rewriting tool or another method. So make sure the data is reliable before using it!

Read Also: Topics for History Essays for Outstanding Papers and Civil Rights Movement Essay Topics

How Reliable a Source Is

You will undoubtedly encounter the query of where to obtain reliable sources for a research paper while you look for your study data. To make sure you only use the most reliable sources, pay close attention to the following criteria.

1. What is its depth?

Always consider an article's depth in addition to its written material. Check the article's length and content for essential details including an abstract, a reference list, and data that is supported by documentation.

2. Who is the reader?

It's crucial to always consider the article's intended readership when assessing an article's reliability. There are times when sources have a clear agenda, which might lead to bias.

3. What is the objective?

Consider asking yourself what the piece is aiming to accomplish, just as you should do with the audience. How are they convincing you of their ultimate objective?

4. Who was the author?

Always consider the author of the piece and their standing in the industry. Take a look at their collection of published works as well.

5. Is it reliable?

In general, it's important to consider how reliable the source is. What type of website does it appear on? Consider the overall picture.

6. Is it still applicable today?

Look at the publication date or the details that are mentioned in the article. It's usually not very relevant to your present research if it dates back a few years.

7. Is it demonstrable?

Despite how convincing an essay may sound, many people are skilled communicators and persuasive speakers. Consider whether or not what they are asserting can be supported by evidence before continuing.

Websites are an example of reliable sources.

Sources to Use for Research Papers: A List

It can be difficult to locate trustworthy sources for a research paper. Start with the ones that are the most accessible first: websites. You've definitely heard of and used Google Scholar, but you'd be surprised to learn that there are a ton of other sites out there that can also assist you in finding reliable books and articles. Check out a list of reliable websites that can assist you in doing that.

1. Google Scholar

Google Scholar is the most well-known and user-friendly search engine, it can provide academic writing on any subject you need. You can use Google Scholar for free and search for any kind of publishing format.


JSTOR is a searchable online library with a wide range of publications, including books, papers, and journals. Despite the restricted access, it can really aid kids. Since the sources are carefully chosen before being included, it is also regarded as one of the most trustworthy databases.

3. Microsoft Academic

This web search engine is accessible without charge. Not only does it assist you in finding the necessary literature, but it also keeps track of the most recent scholarly works and investigations in the area of your interest! Additionally, it was redesigned in 2016 with an improved user experience.

4. SAGE Publishing

With a subscription, this independent publisher provides you with free access to scholarly articles and much more! It's a pretty reliable source because they publish thousands of high-quality books and periodicals each year.

5. Taylor and Francis Online

It has a good reputation and is quite well recognized among researchers. Peer-reviewed journal papers are published by them. You get access to all of the journals that this company publishes through this online resource. You should check the conditions first because free admission is only available in a restricted number of places.

6. ScienceDirect

You can subscribe to access ScienceDirect, a sizable database of scientific and medical publications. It is known that all 18 million of the published works are reliable. As a result, this instrument can be incredibly effective and trustworthy for your investigation.

7. Academia

Similar to Google Scholar, Academia is a free resource where you can browse and even download any paper you desire. However, occasionally writers will only upload a portion of their work. So if you're interested, you'd have to get in touch with them yourself.

8. Scopus

It is one of the largest databases of articles and peer-reviewed publications. Be aware that they only permit free access to the citations and abstracts, not the complete text of the publications. In order to access everything, you must read the terms.

Credible News Sources: A List

Journalism obviously cannot be compared to academic writing. No matter how hard you attempt to depict global news, politics, or economics, your piece will be subjective to thousands of readers.

Nevertheless, there are both less and more reliable news sources. Here, we've compiled a number of reputable news websites.

1. BBC News

One of the most reliable sources you can discover is BBC News. On their official website, they publish all of the most recent news items in text, video, or audio format. You don't have to pay extra to view the content because it's a TV station.

2. The Economist

A renowned and esteemed weekly publication with an emphasis on global business, economics, and politics is The Economist. Online access is also possible. People claim that even if the subscription fee is not little, it is completely worthwhile.

3. The Wall Street Journal

It's another global powerhouse of the business journals scene with American roots. It looks to be widely read and is distributed in broadsheet and digital formats. Even though there are constantly sources of free business news, readers still advise buying The Wall Street Journal.

4. Google News

Google News can be viewed as a personal organizer for the most important headlines. This application provides an unlimited stream of articles depending on your interests once you simply set your choices. It is reportedly the biggest of its kind.

5. The Guardian

The Guardian was a staple in our lives. This British newspaper, which has been published for more than 200 years, is a favorite among readers. Everyone is welcome to read their online publications, but as they rely on donations, they would value your opinion.

6. CNN

Another international TV network that focuses on business and politics is CNN. It is renowned for providing breaking news and is one of the most watched stations in the US. If you want to stay up to date with news in North America, here is a wonderful place to start.

Credible Sources for Natural Science Research

Additionally, you can find trustworthy sources on natural science in this final area of helpful links. Each link directs you to a reputable source with information you may use to support your research report.


No one can dispute NASA's high level of dependability. It is a reputable official source of data about the most recent space explorations and findings. There you can join live feeds of events like launches and landings in addition to finding movies, reports, and images!

2. Scientific American

For anyone interested in science and technology, it is a necessity. There were publications of the most well-known scientists' works. Even an article by Albert Einstein appeared in one of the editions! Either purchase a print copy of the magazine or sign up for an online subscription.

3. Popular Science

More of a general audience source is this one that focuses on science. Popular Science is still a trustworthy and credible source of information, despite the fact that it covers a wide range of topics and doesn't always feature the most recent discoveries. It has received many honors for its periodical work!

4. National Geographic

This site is ideal for researching the most fascinating news and documentaries on any topic you desire if you love the outdoors! Although it started as a TV network, you may also visit their website or download a smartphone app. It is also recognized for being trustworthy because they offer solid sources and proof.

How to Assess the Reputability of Sources

It is also vital to make sure that the information you are using is current and correct because using untrustworthy sources in your study can damage your reputation.

Here's a guide to locating reliable sources.

What exactly is a reliable source?

Materials that have been published within the last ten years are typically regarded as reliable research sources. Another crucial aspect to take into account is the author; usually speaking, if they are well-known and recognized in their particular industries, it is a hint that the piece is reliable. Academic databases and government- and educational-run websites with the dot-gov and dot-edu extensions are frequently safe to use. Another credible source of information is Google Scholar.

What does a possibly dubious source mean?

Anything written more than ten years ago is considered out of date and should be avoided. The most reputable sources are rarely those found on personal blogs or social media sites like Facebook. Always check that an article is properly referenced and that the website you are accessing has extension.

Free Learning Resources

The term "open educational resources" refers to a variety of free research resources. They have a license that allows unrestricted use for educational purposes. If they are published under a Creative Commons license and the author has established themselves as an authority in their subject, they can be considered reliable research sources. Make sure any content you use is neutral and free of bias.

Writing a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

You're all set to go now that you know how to locate reliable sources for research. However, where do you even begin when writing a research paper? We've got you covered, so don't worry.

First things first: make sure your professor gives you clear guidelines on what they expect. The next stage is to begin generating research topic suggestions. When you've made up your mind and are certain of it, it's time to draft an outline and lay out the objectives of your research paper.

Make friends with your library staff and begin your quest for reliable sources using a number of techniques. Before you begin writing, be sure you fully comprehend the subject. Keep your writing factual at all times, and don't only explain your point at the end; do so throughout the entire paper. Your writing will be directed by that. Never forget to reference your sources, keep format in mind at all times, and be sure to go through the final changes and checks.

You are now prepared to produce an excellent, fact-based research paper that will wow your professors.



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