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UMES Construction Management: Evaluation

This guide contains information that will help you start searching for information in the field of construction management. You will find links to relevant databases, journals and other resources.

Authoritative Sources

Evaluating a Journal Article

Purpose of the Article:  Why was the article written?
  • To persuade
  • To inform
  • To prove something
Type of Journal
  • Scholarly Journal: high quality research reviewed by experts in the field. (Peer-review)
  • Trade Magazine: topics in business or economic data
Organization & Content
  • Is material organized and focused?
  • Is argument or presentation understandable?
  • Is this original research, a review of previous research
  • Left/Liberal?   OR Right/Conservative? Center?
  • An alternative press?  OR Political action (PAC) group?
Date of Article
  • Up‐to‐date, Out‐of‐date, Timeless
  • Identifies resources consulted appropriate for the content.  
  • Is it selective or is it comprehensive
  • Primary sources and/or secondary sources only
  • Is the citation style clear and consistent?
  • Is the article relevant to the current research project?  
  • Support an argument ‐Refute an argument
  • Includes survey results, primary research finding, case studies
  • Author(s) and/or publisher(s) credentials verifiable.  
  • Expert in this field? Where employed? Other writings?
  • Comprehensively, partially, or provide an overview?
  • Specialists. Researchers or scholars Students
  • Charts, graphs, maps, photographs used to illustrate concepts
  • Relevant, clear and professional‐looking?

Evaluating a Website

  • Is the information reliable? 
  • Is the author an expert in the field? Check credentials/affiliation.
  • Is the source reputable?
  • Are the sources of information stated and verifiable?
  • Can the author be contacted for clarification?
  • Check for organizational or author biases.
  • Is material unique, accurate or is it derivative, repetitious, or doubtful?
  • Is the information available in other formats? 
  • Is the purpose of the resource clearly stated?
  • What subjects, time period, formats or types are covered? 
  • Is the information factual or opinion? 
  • Does the site contain original information or simply links? 
  • How frequently is the resource updated? 
  • Does the site have clear and obvious pointers to new content?
Format and Presentation
  • How many links does it take to get to something useful? 
  • Do images enhance the resource or distract from the content? 
  • Is the target audience or intended users clearly indicated? 
  • Is the arrangement of links uncluttered?
  • Does the site have its own search engine? 
  • Is the site easily browsable or searchable?
  • Is response time fast? 
  • Does the site have a text-based alternative? 
  • How many links lead to a dead-end? 
  • Is this a fee-based site? Can non-members still have access to part of the site? 
  • Must you register a name and password before using the site


Evaluating a Research Report

  • Clear and concise
  • States what the study promises


  • clearly stated
  • properly defined
  • significance recognized
  • hypotheses clearly stated/specific questions raised
  • assumptions and limitations stated
  • important terms defined
  • adequately covered
  • important findings noted
  • well organized
  • effectively summarized


Procedures Used
  • detailed research design
  • adequate research design
  • relevant variables recognized
  • appropriate controls provided
  • data gathering instruments apropropiate
  • validity and reliability established
  • statistical treatment appropriate