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How to Find Credible Sources for Your Research

How to Find Credible Sources for Your Research

Most academic papers require referencing. Referencing may be a shock to beginners who are new to finding reliable sources for reference. In this guide from, the custom term paper writing service, we will talk about what makes a source credible, how to find credible sources and the basic rules of how to search for them. We will also provide a list of credible websites and answer the question: “are .gov websites reliable?”.

Credible Source Definition

According to the dictionary, the term ‘credible source’ refers to reliable sources. In other words, the references are acceptable, trustworthy, and valid — according to professionals in the subject area. This implies any sources that are not credible are not to be used. Sources that are not credible include opinionated and false information. This is why it is essential find out what makes a source credible.

What Makes a Source Credible?

In the age of social media and the internet, some sources are reliable, and others are not. Accuracy and relevance place a significant role in the credibility of a reference. Some sources may be considered as myths by most people, as some may be known as “fake news.” Another vital factor of determining these two aspects is to identify whether the source is a website, PDF, or book. In hindsight, books are far more credible than websites. Website content is more likely to contain incredible information. Due to the fact that anyone is capable of posting content on a website.

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The most accurate sources for referencing are known to be “peer reviews” by professionals in the subject area. This practice is done to make sure the source is credible. In other words, these sources possess a stamp or statement of some kind. They state that experts have approved the reference. The purpose is to make sure that the content is not opinionated, but widely-agreed upon facts.

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Basic Rules of How to Search for Credible Sources

When you research websites, there are some basic rules when it comes to finding credible sources.

  • Try to Find Recent Sources: A requirement for referencing is to use the most recent sources. Avoid using sources that are more than five years old.
  • Analyze the Writer’s Background: It is crucial to research sources that have a minimal amount of biases. Ask yourself: Is the writer pursuing a specific agenda? Does the writer work for a university, or private institution?
  • Use Verified Sources: Make sure professionals or academics have verified the references before using them. Usually, these sources come with a seal or a statement of approval. To make sure the sources are relevant, non-bias, and accurate.
  • If you use search engines, make sure they are reliable: Google Scholar, for example, is a great search engine that serves as an excellent tool for students by providing the most accurate, relevant, and up-to-date publications from institutions – all over the world.

List of Credible Sources for Research

We understand that it can be challenging to determine whether a source is reliable or not. Our professional writers have compiled together a list of the top academic search engines for finding credible sources for research. Learning how to search for scholarly articles on Google Scholar and other platforms can make research far simpler. Each of these platforms can provide any research topic for college students.

  • JSTOR: A platform for research. It enables students to find their required content, and assists writers bring their publications to wider audiences.
  • Google Scholar: This search engine enables students to find scholarly websites and publications that are the most up-to-date and relevant to the search term used. Google scholarly articles are by far some of the most accurate sources to use in your paper.
  • Oxford Academic: Ran by the Oxford University Press, publishes the highest quality journals. To reach to the “widest possible audience.” They offer any research topic for every field of study.
  • Microsoft Academic: This platform provides the top authors and institutions for reference as well as statistics for all kinds of studies.
  • Cornell University Library: An online library which provides references. They operate online, and also in-person. They serve as a useful assistant to students, professors, and general research for university projects.
  • SAGE Publishing: This organization provides up-to-date publications. With updated papers published every year. They deliver 1800 credible sources, annually.
  • Taylor and Francis Online: This scholarly website allows students to browse its publications by subject area. It has over 4 million sources available for reference.
  • Academic Journals: By providing reliable sources for research, this website gives access to thousands of peer-reviewed up-to-date academic journals. It also hosts conferences to any of those who are interested.

Are .Gov Websites Reliable?

Many students proper the question: “are .gov websites reliable?” and the answer is that they are. Governments are organized institutions that also happen to run countries. That being their primary purpose. Most content on government websites is written with a strict quality assurance policy, not to spread false news to the citizens of that country.

Governments aim to deliver accurate information to lawyers and law students, the law of each country states on their .gov website. They also provide advice to travelers regarding the legality of other countries. Take a look at this list of credible websites that possess the domain of ‘.gov.’

  • Provides an insight into American law, traveling to the US, and Immigration Services.
  • Gives visitors information regarding Brexit, British law, advice for travelers, & immigration services.
  • Provides an insight into Canadian culture, law, immigration, and traveling.
  • Welcomes tourists to visit the UAE, provides information regarding the law, and travel advice.
  • Gives visitors an insight into Australian law, traveling advice, and immigration.


Many students prosper “what is a credible source?” In which, finding credible sources is essential for any academic paper. They must contain accurate and believable information. Not every source, especially on websites, contains agreed-upon information. Thus, using reliable sources is important for the reason that readers require writers to include black and white evidence to defend their claims.

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