Chat now!

Skip to main content

Briggs Library Banner

Connect @Briggs Logo

Click here to complete the Briggs Library Survey and you could win $50.00 in Hobo Dough!

Help us make the library better by telling us what you think about our resources and services.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes. At the end of the survey, enter your e-mail address to participate in the drawing for one of four $50.00 Hobo Dough prizes (two for undergrads, one for grad students, one for faculty/staff). The survey closes April 10.

Speech 101: Types of Sources & Peer Reviewed

What are the types of sources and why should I care?

Different sources meet different needs.

Find a source type that meets your needs.

Types of Sources

  • Book - more in-depth but dated information
  • Encyclopedia or dictionary - very brief overviews of topics
  • Peer-reviewed journal article - up-to-date information on a topic; peer-review increases the reliability of the information
  • Magazine article - up-to-date information, often not very reliable and/or biased
  • Newspaper article - most up-to-date information on news stories; due to deadlines, information may be inaccurate
  • Government document - information gathered by a government intended for its own use or use by the public
  • Pamphlet - brief information that may be inaccurate or biased
  • Advertisement - always biased information
  • Webpage - wide variety of quality of information and it may be difficult to tell how old the information is
  • Multimedia - video or audio sources with a wide variety of quality of information
  • Blogs, message boards, discussion lists, chat rooms, e-mails - these vary widely in quality

Librarian for Communication Studies & Theatre

Elizabeth Fox
Briggs Library, Box 2115
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007-1098
Room 123
Skype Contact

Types of information need

Why do you need the information?

  • Have you been diagnosed with a disease and need to know about treatments?
  • Are you trying to win a bet about who won your high school's football game yesterday?
  • Do you have a 4-5 minute speech to give on a topic?
  • Do you want to write a dissertation to finish up a Ph.D?

What kind of information will satisfy your need?

  • If accuracy is important, look for books published by academic or scholarly publishers as well as articles from peer-reviewed or other academic journals.
  • If timeliness is important, especially for a news source, check out newspapers and news magazines.
  • If depth of coverage is important, check out books.
  • If speed of answer is important (e.g. for quiz night), check out web pages

What is Peer Review

Peer-Reviewed 101

Peer-Review Criteria


  • Documentation of sources/background information/literature review (C&RL News)
  • Are there any special ethical concerns arising from the use of human or other animal subjects? (Nature)

Research reported on

  • Methodology (C&RL News)
  • Analysis/Logic of argumentation (C&RL News)
  • Are there other experiments or work that would strengthen the paper further? (Nature)


  • Presentation (C&RL News)
  • Who will be interested in reading the paper, and why? (Nature)
  • How does the paper stand out from others in its field? (Nature)

Scholarly Communication

  • Relevance to advancing knowledge in the field of academic librarianship (C&RL News)
  • Is the paper likely to be one of the five most significant papers published in the discipline this year? (Nature)
  • Are the claims appropriately discussed in the context of previous literature? (Nature)

Find sets of criteria for journals

LibGuides Footer