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Getting full text sources without paying for them

If there’s no full text HTML or PDF link obvious on the Google Scholar or database page:

  • look for a ‘link to full text’ or ‘find article’ button.
  • double-check by searching the name of the journal (not the title of the article) in our list.

If MRU doesn't have it:

  • Request an InterLibrary loan.  Journal articles usually only take a couple of days to get.

Evaluating Information

How do I identify scholarly resources?

Rules differ by discipline. Start with the general rules below and contact your subject specialist / Liaison Librarian for more help.

Scholarly sources are judged based in part on the following criteria:

  1. Authors: Check that an author is listed, that their credentials are included and that the credentials and affiliations are relevant to the information provided.
  2. Publishers: Who is the publisher? Scholarly publishers are often academic, scholarly or professional organizations. If not, is the purpose for publishing evident (i.e. is it to sell something, market an idea, share an opinion, etc.)?
  3. Audience: Who is the intended audience? Scholarly sources often use specific or technical knowledge aimed at individuals in a specific discipline. They are not meant for a general reader. 
  4. Content: Why has the information been written? Scholarly sources cite many sources (both in the text and in a reference list at the end) and often include charts, graphs and tables. The content should document the claims being made and provide evidence to support conclusions.
  5. Currency: Currency may be important depending on the topic.


Scholarly sources: includes academic, peer-reviewed and refereed sources. These are sources written by experts in their field. Scholarly sources can be in any format including books, journal articles and websites.

Peer reviewed / refereed: An article that has been peer reviewed has been reviewed by other experts in the field before publication. Used almost exclusively in reference to journal articles.

How can I judge the authority and credibility of information found on the web?

  1. Authority: Does the person, institution or agency providing the information have the knowledge and authority to do so? Look for clear information about who developed the information, contact information, credentials or information about the organization or overarching body that supports the site.
  2. Purpose: Why is the information on the web? To inform, persuade, entertain, sell you something? Consider how the purpose may influence the information.
  3. Currency: The importance of this aspect may differ by discipline, it is especially important in the fields of health and science. When was the information written, has it been updated recently, are the links all working?
  4. Objectivity: Does the information appear to be presented with a minimum of bias?
  5. Accuracy: Is the source of the information (references) provided? Does the information line up with what you have read elsewhere? Is the author associated with a well known and respected institution?

Dig Deep into Websites

Sometimes valuable information is buried in websites. Used advanced search techniques in Google to find what doesn't come up in a simple search.

Google Operators

site:        inurl:           intitle:   

"annual report" inurl:media intitle:sustainability

communication sustainability plan inurl:pdf  

"public relations" energy sustainability intitle:report  

communication sustainability intitle:report   


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Hailey Siracky