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SCIN 132- W2 Discussion: Evaluating Resources

Aug 17, 2023

W2 Discussion: Evaluating Resources

Instructions:  Technology makes vast amounts of information (and misinformation) readily available. The challenge is navigating this sea of information. Our goal for your general science education is to develop your scientific literacy. A critical skill you must develop is the ability to find reputable sources of academically and scientifically credible information.  There are many sources of high-quality scientific information on the open web; you just need to learn how to spot them by identifying any “green” or “red” flags.

For this week’s initial post:

  • Using your selected topic from your Week 1 Mini-Presentation assignment, select only ONE article from a source of biology information from the open web or the Trefry Library.
  • Use the name of your article and its source as the title of your initial post.  (You cannot use a source that one of your classmates has already used or you will not receive credit.) (e.g., “Bare-nosed Wombat – Australian Museum.”)
  1. Evaluate the source by explaining why it is or is not an academically and scientifically credible source of information. 
  2. Provide a minimum of three pieces of evidence to support your thoughts and state if they are green or red flag examples.

Some evidence to consider is the credibility of the author as a subject matter expert, the quality of the reference sources included in the article or lack thereof, the credibility of the publisher or website, etc.

  • The author is not a subject-matter expert and does not provide academically and scientifically credible reference sources. (e.g., “John Jones is a freelance writer with a journalism degree and did not include any credible reference sources.”)
  1. Based on the evidence you have provided, state if you feel this source is an overall credible source.


  • “All three pieces of evidence I found were green flags; therefore, I feel this is a credible source overall.”
  • “All three pieces of evidence I found were red flags; therefore, I feel this is not a credible source overall.”
  • “The evidence I found was a mix of red and green flags. Because Wikipedia was one of the sources noted in the article, I believe this is not a credible source overall.”

W2 Discussion: Evaluating Resources 

The article I have chosen here for describing the little animal Beaver (Castor fiber, Castor canadensis) for this week’s discussion post will highlight the three areas of that article to prove its authentication and academic scientific credibility. The areas include the credibility of the origin, the purpose of the article, and the relevancy of the article.

1. Origin of the article: the article is selected from the Earth- Science Reviews journal. This site is famous for publishing science-related papers, and it is also popular for its publications. The article also shows evidence from a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore this can be posted under the (green flag).

2. Purpose of the article: the purpose of the article is to spread awareness about how this little creature works as a keystone species and works in an environmentally friendly manner, and helps to maintain our ecosystem (Hale & Koprowski, 2018, p.440). This article shows a huge amount of statistical and numerical data to show its authentication. This paper also acts as an enriched source to gain any information regarding the rivers and hydro-geomorphic landscape context. All the references cited here also show their authentication because many of them are taken from authentic sources. Therefore this can be also posted under the (green flag).

3. Relevancy of the article: the article is also considered to be very time-relevant because this publication date is very recent (Larsen, Larsen & Lane, 2021, p.103623). Not only that, but this paper also provides an ample amount of information regarding the Beaver. All the unique characteristics that this little animal possesses and its contributing role in nature are very beautifully described in this article. Therefore, the point of relevancy can also be posted under (green flag).

Thus, it can be concluded that the information provided here is authentic and credible.


Hale, S. L., & Koprowski, J. L. (2018). Ecosystem‐level effects of keystone species reintroduction: A literature review. Restoration Ecology26(3), 439-445.

Larsen, A., Larsen, J. R., & Lane, S. N. (2021). Dam builders and their works: Beaver influences on the structure and function of river corridor hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystems. Earth-Science Reviews218, 103623.

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