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A Guide To...Mathematics & Computer Science: Analyzing Results

Analyzing Search Results and Resources

Analyzing  Resources

Aspects to Consider:

  •   Comprehensiveness
  •   Credibility – Data Gathered, Authors, Methods Used
  •   Timeliness – What is “old” versus “new” for your topic or for a resource?
  •   Perspective: Scientific, Social, Psychological, Economic, Historical, etc.

Questions to ask:

  1. How recently was the resource published?  How old is the data in the resource?
  2. Who are the authors? What is their level of expertise on the topic? What is their publishing history? What is their bias?
  3. Where is the information in the resource published or presented? Journal – organization - media format
  4. What is the reputation of the publication, and the publisher or conference or organization of the publication? How long has it been in existence? What is their bias?
  5. How widely researched is your topic?
    1. Extensive number of resources or too many aspects to a topic = narrow focus
    2. Too few resources or limited scope of works = expand focus
  6. How controversial is your topic or your hypothesis? Are you considering all sides or issues? Does the literature that you have found support or refute the research you are conducting?


Database Features for Analyzing Resources

Sort options will present results in different order:  Publication Date, Keyword Relevance, Times Cited, Author, Source Title, Conference Title.

Filter Options will narrow down search, filtering out certain results: Language, Publication Date, Authors, Countries, Subject Headings, Document Type, Cited References, Times Cited

  • Times Cited – the number of times an article of choice has been cited by researchers writing subsequent articles. Live link in some databases.
  • Cited References – List of references a researcher(s) cited when conducting their literature search for literature review.  Live link in some databases.
  • Publication Date – specify the date range within which you wished to search. Filter option.
  • Researchers/Authors – search on a specific researcher’s name to find what else that person has published. Field or category limiter.
  • CiteScore - provides performance metrics to evaluate journals
    • Number of articles published in the journal in a specific year
    • Number of citations to that journal from articles published in a specific year
    • CiteScore -  calculated from data for a specific year
    • Most frequently cited journals in a field
    • Highest impact journals in a field
    • Hottest journals in a field
    • Leading journals in a field
    • Related journals in a field


Analyzing Internet Sources - what questions should you ask yourself when evaluating an Internet site as a resource.