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Information searching

Choosing sources

Whether you are searching for information in a library database, international databases or the internet, you always have to evaluate carefully if the source you found is reliable and scientific and can be used in your work.


Source criticism

Who has created the information, a well-known organization or expert? Can you verify the information presented from some other source? See more useful questions in this LibGuide's subpage Evaluating online sources.

Characteristics of a scientific article

There is usually a certain structure and certain features to be found in a scientific article: an abstract, methodology, objective language, special terminology, tables and charts, conclusions and a list of references. The author of the article is an expert in the field.

Picture with key characteristics of a scientific article

Source: NCSU Libraries: Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Characteristics of a scientific journal

A scientific journal has scientific articles that report scientific research and study. Before publication, scientific articles usually go through a peer review process. There are many differences between scientific and popular journals:

Picture comparing a scientific journal to a popular journal


Is the source available as full-text? Can you, for example, access the article as a PDF file or get the book from a library near you?  In full-text databases, the articles are available for download online. You can also try asking the author of an article for a copy.

If you cannot find what you are looking for in Finna, the internet or the libraries in the area, contact Tritonia's Interlibrary loans service which enables you to borrow or order photocopies of material from other libraries.

Using sources

Reading academic texts

In order to save time when going through different information sources, there are different reading techniques you can use: skim the text to find sections useful for you, scan for answers to what, who and when, focus on finding the main ideas or read the text critically. Source and more information about reading academic texts.


Picture with different reading techniques listed



When you use the sources in your work, you must take into consideration the ethical use of information and follow the code of conduct for research integrity. Violations against the responsible conduct of research include, for example, plagiarism, misrepresentation and fabrication. For more information, check the publication The Finnish code of conduct for research integrity and procedures for handling alleged violations of research integrity in Finland 2023 by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK).

The ethical use of information includes, of course, correct referencing and a carefully made bibliography. Follow the writing guidelines of your own university.

Publication Forum

Publication Forum is a classification of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research. Link to the publication channel search (JUFO portal).

Good to know

Open science

The promotion of open operations models in science and research. Research data should be freely used, re-used and shared. More information on open science.


Deliberately spreading false or biased information with the intent of misleading people


Creating and spreading misleading information without knowing the information is false


A publication delay. The latest issue of, for example, an e-journal is available in full-text in a certain database after a certain time period. The delay is often one year. In these cases, check other databases if they have the latest issue available.

Peer review

Before its publication, an article goes through a peer review process, where experts within the field in question evaluate the quality of the article and whether it can be published in a scientific journal. Also called the referee process sometimes.

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