List of credible sources for research

It is crucial that you use credible primary and secondary sources to ensure the validity of your academic research, but knowing which ones are credible can be difficult!

Luckily, there are some tricks for helping you figure out if a source is credible, which we have outlined in our guide to evaluating sources using the CRAAP test.

If you are not sure where to begin, we have collected a list of credible sources to help point you in the right direction.

Credible websites

Many sources you will find online might not be verified or contain accurate information, so it is important that you use the right websites to help your research.

Government and educational websites (.gov or .edu), such as those of universities, are your safest bet for finding accurate information with no hidden agenda. You might be tempted to use and cite Wikipedia, but you need to be very careful with this as it is not considered a proper academic source.

You also need to be careful of native advertising, advertorials and public relations content that might be designed to sell a product rather than provide reliable information. Read more about evaluating website credibility.

Recommended credible research websites

Website Subject The US government’s official site for all things science. Search more than 60 databases and 2,200 websites, with access to over 200 million authoritative pages.
US Census Bureau All the latest and historic census data for the United States.
UK Statistics The UK’s Office for National Statistics. Includes data, design and background information on previous censuses conducted in the UK.
US Government Information on the US government, including laws, historical documents, past Presidents and more.
UK Government Information on government services, legal processes and major events in the UK.
Smithsonian Magazine The Smithsonian Institute’s official online magazine, offering a variety of articles on history, science, arts and culture, technology and more. The Institute is administered by the US Government.
Encyclopedia Britannica The online Encyclopedia Britannica. A great place to find information on general topics, including biographies, history, country information, religion and much more.
National Bureau of Economic Research A non-profit, non-partisan US organization that conducts research on the subject of economy and distributes findings for academics, policy makers and professionals.

Credible sources for journal articles

Assessing the credibility of a journal article is easier than with any other source, as many sites include information such as how many times the work has been cited, whether or not it has been peer reviewed (approved by other researchers), and links to background on the author(s).

Whenever you are in doubt, apply the CRAAP Test, considering the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose of the journal article.

The Journal Quality List provides further assistance with understanding the level of credibility of a particular journal.

Recommended sources for journal articles

Subject Journal source
General JSTOR
Google Scholar
Oxford Academic, part of the Oxford University Press
Microsoft Academic
Cornell University Library
SAGE Publishing
Taylor and Francis Online
Academic Journals
Directory of Open Access Journals
Science Science Mag
OMICS International
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Public Library of Science
Mathematics Springer publications
American Mathematical Society
Humanities and social sciences Project Muse
Literature American Comparative Literature Association
Philosophy PhilPapers

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Credible news sources

More caution is required when considering using news articles (from newspapers and news sites), as the reliability of news sources available online varies significantly. Remember to apply the CRAAP test when evaluating news sources, focusing on purpose, authority and accuracy in particular.

Recommended credible news sources

News source Main topics
The New York Times News on business, politics and culture
The Wall Street Journal News on general topics and business
The Washington Post General news
BBC General news
The Economist World news and business
The New Yorker Magazine featuring longer-form news and analysis
Reuters News on politics and economy
Bloomberg News on politics and economy
Foreign Affairs A bi-monthly publication focused on international affairs
Politico News on politics in the United States and Europe
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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).

1 comment

Courtney Gahan
Courtney Gahan (Scribbr Team)
July 25, 2018 at 12:18 PM

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