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How To Find Credible Sources for Research to Make Your Paper Trustworthy

Written by David Santana
Posted: February 28, 2022
Last update date: March 22, 2024
11 min read

Writing research papers requires patience and a lot of in-depth analysis of the materials chosen to find reliable sources. This type of essay is prevalent in all college and school classes. Thus, it helps students showcase their basic skills, such as critical thinking, cohesive writing, and reading comprehension.

Although this project is widespread, only some know how to write a research paper and find credible sources. Therefore, the article below can be of great help. Thus, it includes detailed information about writing papers and everything for student or writer who needs to know about finding credible sources. Furthermore, the type of sources for research in several fields, such as periodicals.

Lastly, here are some essential tips to prove the credibility of a source and how to begin a source-finding process for an award-winning academic paper. The following information can be used as an excellent guide for those needing a beacon for creating quality writing materials worthy of academic achievement. Papers Owl is an excellent website for finding credible sources for academic papers, offering reliable and authoritative information from a variety of sources. Additionally, Papers Owl provides helpful tips, instructions, and resources to make sure you are able to write a highly-acclaimed academic paper.

Types of Sources Used in Research Papers

Finding credible sources for research is essential, but what makes a source credible? You can find credible research sources on government pages, scientific journals or references, and credible websites. This sets the tone for explaining each type of source for research: a website, an article, references, and credible news.

Primary Resources

Finding credible research paper resources must be carefully provided and fact-checked to ensure the resources can be used on the paper, primarily if the appropriate data type is indicated on a website. Online pages nowadays can be edited by almost anyone and published anonymously without any form of credibility. Therefore, the best credible sources for academic research must come from government references or educational websites. The most trustworthy are the WHO, NHS, US Census Bureau, and UK Statistics.

Secondary Resources

When it comes to the second type of resource for research papers, articles are great for obtaining details and deep analysis of materials. In addition, selecting a credible article from the online library is unbiased and accessible more than other types of sources due to the large quantity of information displayed on the first page (such as the author’s name and education, the year published, if it was peer-reviewed, etc.). Some familiar and great academic resources are Google Scholar, Public Library of Science, Oxford Academic, and BioMed Central. In another way, you can use an online writing service.

Pro tip: if you doubt the credibility of a source, try using the CRAAP test, which states for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Analyze the information taking these detail into account, to determine whether the source can be used or disposed of.

Tertiary Resources

Lastly, the news is the last credible source for research papers on the list, which require much precaution and time to find credible sources for research papers and determine if this information type should be taken into account. To find good sources for research that include current-event situations, ensure to acquire information from online papers.

Suppose you’re struggling with adding checked resources to your paper, and you constantly search for references or the article “how to find sources for a research paper.” In that case, a good thing to implement is the CRAAP test mentioned above.

How to Start a Search for Sources

Students wondering how to find unbiased and credible sources for research papers can use the following paragraph as a great guide. Good research sources are not technically hard to find sources in the library, but they require time. In the beginning stages of research, the bigger picture tends to be challenging to see. Therefore the first step to find a good source for an academic research project is to start anywhere, even online, and narrow your search once you’ve discovered a connector string.

Here’s a useful list of steps students can use to find credible sources.

  1. Start somewhere. Simply searching the type of topic chosen in general will provide a good introduction and help students move forward with the investigation of materials.
  2. Use only fact-checked sites. Databases like Wikipedia should be massively avoided. Thus, each article can be edited by anyone, and no facts can be proven to be true. Go for scholarly databases, well-known newspaper articles, and the science essay to find credible news.
  3. Go local. Although most information can be accessed online, university libraries are still relevant and find a great source of data, so this source is highly recommended to be used.

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The Credibility of a Source

It is becoming more critical for students to find sources amid the vast number of available reputable internet articles. Unfortunately, the accessibility of the information played a bad joke on Internet Users. There is a lot of fake news, click bates, fabrications, propaganda, and manipulation. How do you not become a victim and find a reputable article in the world of the yellow press?

Credible sources are information based on evidence. It exists an easy way to check the credibility of a proven source. You just need to pass the CRAAP test:

  • Currency: Is the primary source modern?
  • Relevance: Does the source fit with what you're looking for?
  • Authority: Who wrote the origin? Where was it published?
  • Accuracy: Are the claims given in the right way?
  • Purpose: What was the point of putting this source out there?

Our top essay writers prepared helpful advice in this article. They use them daily to be sure that none of your teachers and examinators doesn't put the background in question. This advice works well as the sole mechanism of the CRAAP test.

  • Collect data for research carefully. It should be accurate and current.
  • You must ensure that the source is appropriate for your project.
  • The author and the publisher would be recognized as leading authorities in your academic investigating field.
  • The author's references should be simple to access, clear, and objective.
  • The URL and style of online sites should indicate their source's credibility.

Free Resources for Learning

Open Educational Resources are accessible, reliable research paper sources available for the population without charge for teaching and educational purposes.

To find credible sources of this kind, make sure they have a Creative Commons license, stating that the information displayed can be shared and used to help with research paper. You need to check the credentials and backgrounds to make sure they provide relevant information to be considered valid sources and look for non-biased content to keep neutral to build your opinion on it later in the paper.

Sites for Scholarly Research

Scholarly research requires some patience and analysis to find sources and check their credibility. Government pages are reputable, but experts should be careful of political ideas in the article that are more fond of one or another party, as well as educational and university sites, in which the information can be usually used for research but should be analyzed too.

Finally, company websites are another great source to use for scholarly search, but, as before, the writer should be aware of any product promotion that gets in the way of credible information.

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Credible Research Sources to Consider

The following point will come in handy if you're searching for credible sources for research papers. Below, you can find a list of sources for the appropriate type of research papers that contain primary and secondary sources to create an outstanding and academic-worthy piece.

Government Entities

Professionals highly regulate the sources, so they are safe to use as primary sources. Depending on the country researched, the reputable government site will vary. However, some general examples that provide outstanding scholarly databases are the Australian Government Department of Health and the CIA World Factbook.


A newspaper article, a magazine, and a journal are three forms of periodical sources. Some might be suitable for scholarly research (an article, conference and working papers, and theses), and others fit non-academic research (magazines, newsletters, articles without bibliographic information, etc.). Examples of good periodical sources are The Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Academic Libraries and Databases

You can search for specialized databases and academic libraries in both paid and free accessibility, and most paid information can be obtained with a university or school password. In addition, these sources are entirely reliable and always provide some sort of bibliography to cite the author’s background, credentials, and writing format. The most popular and trustworthy academic libraries and research databases to obtain information on books, studies, and other documents are Google Search, PubMed Central, and ScienceDirect. These search engines allow authors to access data content easily and fast.

Professional Standards Organizations

Professional Standards Organizations serve as excellent consultation guides for terminology and specifications in a certain country. All countries have at least one listed as an official search to help people access certified information. The most common ones used for academic research paper sources are the American National Standards Institute, the British Standards Institution, and the Standards Council of Canada.

Indexes & Abstracts

Indexes and abstracts are credible sources of information that readers can quickly find if these will suit their research or not. Abstracts provide a small summary of the entire text accessed with the clues explained. Therefore it is easy to conclude if that info can be used or not in the written composition being created. Furthermore, indexes help break down texts into brief headings that experts use as the hook sentence and acquire specific data.

Newspaper Indexes

For research studies that need past data, newspaper indexes are the best option. These are indexes composed of names, dates, subjects, illustrations, and other important details found in newspaper articles or groups of newspapers. It helps to organize similar information and data, so readers can access it quickly and obtain specific facts they are looking for.

Reference Books

Reference books provide further knowledge on a chosen topic. You can find them in the bibliography of other books and credible websites, and other credible sites that provide citations for the information displayed.

List of Credible Research Sources

It's more complicated to find credible sources for research papers. So let's begin with online resources like webpages. You may be familiar with Google Scholar or Google Books, but the world is not limited to Google. So we aim to expand the range of credible sources for research papers:

  • WorldWideScience uses 70+ country datasets. When users search, online databases from across the globe provide English and translated results from linked periodicals and academic sites.
  • BBC News is one of the most reliable news sources. They post news in text and video on their official website for your APA format of research paper. So you don't have to pay anything extra to watch it.
  • The Economist is a well-known and respected weekly magazine focusing on international business, economics, and politics. It can also be found online.
  • Refseek works like Google but prioritizes scientific and scholarly results from.edu.org and online encyclopedias.
  • National Geographic site has the latest news and films on any subject! It has a website, smartphone app, and TV network. Relevant sources and proof make confident for your paper.
  • The Wall Street Journal is an additional American-based business site powerhouse. It is published both digitally and in broadsheet print, indicating its high popularity.
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Sources to Avoid When Conducting Research

Author qualifications, publication date, and peer-review status are essential elements to consider when researching material. Unfortunately, not all websites and posts include these details, making it difficult to determine whether the content is suitable for use in a research paper. To avoid wasting time, carefully consider the sources you use when beginning a research paper. In addition, for those who lack the time or resources to complete the research, there is opt to pay for paper writing.

Social Media & Related Sites

Some professionals and organizations use social media to spread fact-checked knowledge about specific topics. Social media and related sites use the worldwide phenomenon known as “fake news” to misrepresent current and previous events.


Wikipedia was cataloged as unreliable for research papers a long time ago because of its lack of credentials and quality and the ability that anyone can edit the type of facts and information displayed. We have shared advice on how to work with Wiki to make a profit.

General Blogs

Nowadays, anyone with a computer or mobile phone can create a blog and publish or cite information that can’t be checked. Be cautious and select the type of sources. Only verified channels with a particular checkbox before writing.


You should also avoid common magazines while writing a research paper. They have an excess of commercial uses to promote products or services. Scientific publications are reliable sources for research papers because they aim to educate their readers.

Outdated Sources

Old sources, especially books, can become useless, which is the same as being unreliable. On the other hand, such type as reliable websites tends to be changed often. It's essential to check the publication date of the books and websites before including them in your writing paper.

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Tips for Finding Research Paper Sources

After reading all the information in this article, how to find good sources?

It is not difficult to find credible research paper sources and discover new facts and data. It does require some patience and analysis, but nothing that can’t be done if correctly approached. To list sources, in the following paragraph, you can find helpful information and tips to find trustworthy resources, books, and journals to write an award-winning research paper.

  • Begin with reliable sources. Cautious with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is one of the most accessible resources in the world for your paper. However, it makes Wiki vulnerable to editing and entering unverified information. Use the wiki resources wisely, and don't cite publications directly in your writing paper. Next to the words, you can find the number. By clicking on the number, you can see the source of the article's author. You can find different credible sources, such as credible journal articles, an essay of a famous author, and thematic researching papers. It is hard to find in Google search, but Wiki is ready to share it.
  • Go to your local library. The library can provide an incredible type of resources of printed data and a vast catalog of materials for research paper or some that don't require up-to-date information. Furthermore, the library is a center for those engaged in writing a research paper, information-flooded places.
  • Find secondary sources and start from there. If you find a starting point newspaper article where a primary source is cited, look for the quality of materials that have been re-published the most by other authors. The goal is to use only the most credible and “used” source that can back up your academic research paper. Basically, find the range type of primary resources you must include in your piece in the credible sources for your paper.
  • Use various sourcing type. Writing a research paper at the academic level is recommended to use as many sourcing types as possible. The paper, books, websites, newspaper articles, documents, research studies, and others are good examples of this that will take your research paper to the next level.
  • Add one source per page. This standard requirement can vary depending on the professor, but a good rule to follow is to add at least one credible source of information per page to back up the writing information.

Crafting an award-winning academic paper is largely dependent on finding reliable sources. By following the tips in this article, you can create a successful paper. If you're short on time, you can also buy a research paper online to save you effort and time.

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