Referencing credible and trustworthy sources is essential for successful research, which is why source validity bears particular importance. The concept of validity defines the genuineness of research, thus, ensuring that the measurement tools used in it are functional and effective. Therefore, the extent of source validity should be deemed a vital quality. By integrating appropriate measurement tools such as CRAAP, one can ensure that the sources used in research are valid.
To evaluate source validity, several methods can be used. Among the most common ones, the CRAAP (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose) test should be mentioned. Offering several crucial parameters based on which a source can be assessed, it provides a reliable result. Additionally, criterion-related evaluation can be used as a validity test. The specified approaches allow determining the veracity and applicability of sources. In turn, a peer review is a process that involves the assessment of an academic paper by a group of experts . A peer review helps ensure that a paper meets the established quality requirements and standards. In the process, the source’s alignment with core criteria for validity, reliability, generalizability, and several other characteristics is checked.
By definition, sites that can be moderated by anyone, such as Wikipedia, do not meet the criteria for being called peer-reviewed. Since changes to the information can be introduced by any participant and are not verified using available research methods, Wikipedia and similar sites cannot be considered peer-reviewed. Furthermore, these sites are unreliable in terms of the information that they provide. Likewise, popular magazines such as Time or Wired Magazines cannot be considered reliable due to the absence of a peer review. Thus, there is an obvious lack of reliability for these sources to be used as the basis for research. Finally, the concept of research bias needs to be discussed. A bias is a phenomenon of internal issues, particularly, researchers’ personal perceptions of a specific issue affecting the results. A bias can affect the validity of a source by reducing it significantly. Consequently, the research outcomes become less applicable and credible.
By incorporating tools such as CRAAP, which determine sources’ validity, one can control the quality of evidence incorporated into the paper. Thus, the materials referenced in research will remain valid and reliable. Validity is a critical parameter of academic papers, which is why it must be considered when using them as references.
Railean, Elena Aurel. Assessment, Testing, and Measurement Strategies in Global Higher Education. New York, NY: IGI Global, 2020.
L. S. Connaway and M. L. Radford, Research Methods in Library and Information Science. 7th ed. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2021.
A. W. Phillips, S. J. Durning, and A. R. Artino Jr., Survey Methods for Medical and Health Professions Education-E-Book: A Six-Step Approach. Berkeley, CA: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2021.
C. A. Chapelle and E. Voss, Eds., Validity Argument in Language Testing: Case Studies of Validation Research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021.