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  • Assessing sources

Drew University Library

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Some researchers use metrics like those listed below to determine the value of the source or publication.

Journal Impact Factor


Impact Factor (IF):the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the reference year.

 Journal impact

 Quartile score:

Defintion: the relative location of a journal along the range of an Impact Factor distribution.


Journal rank


top 25% of the IF distribution (high)


between top 50% and top 25% of the IF distribution. (middle high)


top 75% to top 50% (middle low)


bottom 25% of the IF distribution (low)



The h5-index is the h-index for articles published in the last 5 complete years. It is the largest number h such that h articles published in 2008-2012 have at least h citations each” ---e.g. a h5-index of 100 means 100 articles were published in the 5 yr. time frame that have at least 100 citations each.  


C.R.A.P Test

Apply the C.R.A.P. test when evaluating sources





  • How recently was the information published?

  • How relevant is the information to the search topic?

  • Who conducted the research and what are their credentials?

  • Where was the information published (website, journal, etc.?

  • Is it peer-reviewed or in a scholarly publication?

  • Why was the information published?

  • Is it biased?

  • Is it promotional in nature?