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Nursing: North West College of Nursing - Free resources

Welcome to the Library Guide for Nursing at the NWU. This is a one-stop service to assist you in finding information for your studies or research.

Free resources

Useful Videos and Information

How to recognise a Peer-reviewed Journal Article on the Internet

Not sure whether it is a scholarly article?  Look out for the following criteria:

  • Does the periodical title focus on a specific field or subject?
  • Can you find a clear list of author(s), their degrees, credentials, affiliations, titles etc.?
  • Has the article been cited in a subject-specific online journal database?
  • Is the article longer than 4-5 pages and includes complex content?
  • Does the article contain technical language / specialised vocabulary?
  • Do you need prior subject knowledge to comprehend the content?
  • Does the article have a well defined and specialised title?
  • Does it contain tables and charts and a limited number of colour photographs?
  • Does it have a non-commercial, formal "look" or is there advertising included?
  • Can you find an indication of publication frequency?
  • Are you using data or information?  Information will be based on qualitative or quantitative observations, measurements, analysis, interpretations, conclusions, reference to other sources, opinions, authors, literature review etc.?
  • Have you checked if there are in-text and bibliographic citations and if they are reliable and true?
  • What about the way it was written?  Are there spelling errors, use of inappropriate or inflammatory language etc?
  • Do you feel comfortable staking your academic career on the content of the information?
  • Can you identify an abstract, introduction, problem statement, background and review of literature,  applicable research methods, discussion of findings, conclusion, footnotes and in-text citations and in-depth bibliography?
  • If an article, has it been sponsored by a renowned academic university department or professional and scholarly society or association?
  • Does it include original research by a credible author and prior knowledge of the subject or is it based on personal opinion?