Source evaluation is a deeper examination of your sources -- determining a source's type, characteristics, etc. From these evaluations, you'll then decide if a source is a good fit for your research.
Source types are more than just book, journal, webpage, etc. You'll also want to determine if the source is a popular or a scholarly source.
Here's a table that illustrates the differences between the two types of sources.
|Purpose||current events, entertainment, summary||share research results, advance knowledge in a field|
|Audience||general||scholars, researchers, students|
|Authors||journalists, often unnamed||researchers, experts, always named|
|Characteristics||shorter length, informal, few citations||longer length, formal, more citations, peer-reviewed*|
Peer-reviewed articles have been reviewed and accepted for publication by a selected panel of recognized experts in the field of study covered by the journal (also know as the author's peers).
Source characteristics help you determine if the information from the source is useful to you and credible.