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Dance 290: Dance Forms of Africa

research help for Dance Forms of Africa

Research and Instruction Librarian for Music & Fine Arts

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Karen Olson
Christiansen Hall of Music 147 (Music Library)
& Rolvaag Library 306

Evaluating Sources with ACCORD

Sometimes your research topic is so new or so specific, it is hard to find scholarly sources for it.  For example, if you're researching a film or song that came out last year, there hasn't been enough time to publish a fully peer-reviewed paper on that topic.

In that instance, you may find yourself relying on other kinds of sources: blogs, non-scholarly magazine articles, and so on. When you use these materials, you want to ask yourself: How credible is this source?

Even if the resource hasn't been peer-reviewed, you can look for clues to tell you if the information is reliable. The categories in the ACCORD method help you determine if a source is reliable for your project.

ACCORD infographic; full text offered in the next section

Alt-Text for ACCORD Method Inforgraphic

Evaluate with ACCORD


Why was it created?

  • to inform?
  • to express an opinion?
  • to sell something?


Who created it?

  • a subject expert?
  • a professional writer?
  • an enthusiast?


Can you follow the research?

Look for citations, bibliographies, and functional hyperlinks.


Who published it?

Academic presses, professional organizations, and reputable news outlets employ peer reviewers and fact-checkers.


Is it suitable?

  • how does it relate to your project?
  • is it written for an appropriate age group?


When was it created?

  • can you easily find the creation date?
  • is there likely to be more recent research?

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