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Evaluating Sources: An Interactive Guide: Discipline Discussion

Use library databases, catalogs, and other tools to help you critically evaluate an article or book and place it in the context of an academic discipline.

Discipline Discussion

How does the author's argument compare with the discussion of the subject over time?

1. Summarize the author's argument.

2.a. What other types of discussions or arguments are being made during the same time period as this author?  At five year intervals before and after the publication date of this author's work?

3. Briefly characterize the place of the author's argument in relation to the other arguments or discussions you found.

Search the SUBJECT of the work you want to evaluate in relevant databases in the boxes to the right to see what else has been written on this topic.  You can get a fairly good sense of the discussion within the discipline just by skimming the abstracts included for most articles in these databases.

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Article Indexes: Humanities

Below are some useful article databases for the humanities.  Find more discipline-specific article databases using the Library's Database Finder.

Article Indexes: Social Sciences

Below are some useful article databases for the social sciences.  Find more discipline-specific article databases using the Library's Database Finder.

Article Indexes: Sciences

Below are some useful article databases for the sciences.  Find more discipline-specific article databases using the Library's Database Finder.

Who's Citing This Author?

You can search the Web of Science database to find other publications that have cited the work you're evaluating.  If an article is cited frequently, it might mean that it has become an important work in its field, or it could mean that it's controversial or has raised many questions among others working in this area.  A cited reference search in Web of Science can give you a sense of how a particular work has been received by other scholars and can assist you in joining the scholarly conversation on a topic.