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Choosing & Identifying the Best Source Types for Your Research

Learn about all the different source types and when they are appropriate and helpful to you in the research process: encyclopedias, Wikipedia, books, scholarly articles, popular articles and magazines, trade magazines, news, and websites!

At Your Fingertips, But Evaluate!

Make use of the REFERENCES and SOURCES to continue your research and double-check facts.

Why and When to Use Wikipedia

Source Types


Used for



·    An online encyclopedia.

·    Articles can be edited by anyone.

·    Contains broad subject areas.

·    Uses reliable sources as support.

·    Reliability of Wikipedia (

·    Easy access for everyone.

·    Helpful background information on any topics.

·    May lead to valuable online sources and books and articles available through Rider University Libraries.


·      Authors not known.

·      Information is not reliable and can be misleading.

·      Quality among articles is not even.

·      Professors generally do not accept this as a valid source for scholarly work. Articles cannot be cited in papers.