Evaluating Sources


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For Biotechnology, Fall 2012

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  • Pre-Research: preparing to do research activities. For example, brainstorming keywords words about the topic, writing out search strategiesResearch: Choosing where to search and searching. – PASSWORD SLIPSEvaluating: doing critical thinking about the articles you’ve discovered in your research.
  • Yesterday we talked about briefly about different types of articles. What is a popular article.
  • Characteristics of a popular article. Popular articles and scholarly articles are evaluated a little bit differently. We’ll look at some criteria for popular articles and then move on to scholarly.
  • trustworthy source author’s credentials Is there an author? Is the page signed?Is the author qualified? An expert?Who is the sponsor?Is the sponsor of the page reputable? How reputable?Is there a link to information about the author or the sponsor?If the page includes neither a signature nor indicates a sponsor, is there any other way to determine its origin?evidence of quality control (grammar and spelling, editing)known or respected authority organizational support
  • up to datefactual detailed, exact, comprehensiveaudience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracyIs the purpose for:Advocacy or “soapbox” (tries to persuade).Informational (often has multiple viewpoints and references).Business or marketing (tries to sell).Entertainment.
  • fair balanced objectivereasonedno conflict of interestabsence of fallacies or slanted toneIs there any advertising on the page?**is the article attempting to stir to your emotions or your intellect?
  • Does the author provide references that support the claim?
  • What this all leads up to is CARS. A simple way of applying examining information.
  • If all else fails, apply the smell test. If it smells bad, it probably is bad.
  • Look at DHMO page, evaluate. – passes cars, fails smell testRead the article from KIRO about Monkeys and evaluate.
  • What are scholarly articles? What are other names for them?
  • Characteristics of a scholarly article.That brings usto your assignment. IN YOUR GROUPS:Share the 2-3 criteria you wrote after reading the homework about what you need to do to evaluate a scholarly article. Or brainstorm more. Pick 2 criteria to share with the class and write them on the board.
  • Is the article from a peer reviewed journal? (WHAT IS A PR Journal and how do you find out?)Are any conflicts of interest stated? (WHERE DO YOU FIND THAT?)Is there a reference list and how complete is it? (HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT IS COMPLETE?) Questions: Looking at the questions on the whiteboard and the three specific to Biotech, how long would it take to evaluate a paper? Is this step you should skimp on? Why not?
  • Evaluate a scientific article using the three BioTech criteria. What happens when you use information from a scientific article without evaluating the article first?
  • Evaluating Sources

    1. 1. BioTech BiblioBytes December 12, 2008
    2. 2. Evaluating Research Ethics Pre- ResearchThe Research Cycle
    3. 3. Popular Articles
    4. 4.  Intended for wide audience (general population) Short articles that are not signed (no author) Non-technical, simple writing style Focus on current events, popular topics Usually published daily, weekly or monthlyPopular Articles
    5. 5. Goal: An authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.Credibility
    6. 6. Goal: A source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.Accuracy
    7. 7. Goal: A source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.Reliability
    8. 8. Goal: A source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (find at least two other sources that support it).Supportability
    9. 9. C.A.R.S. CredibilityGuidelines for Accuracy Reliabilityevaluating sources. SupportabilityC.A.R.S. Source:Harris, Robert. "Evaluating Internet Research Sources.“ VirtualSalt. 17Nov. 1997. 17 Oct 2000 <http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm>.
    10. 10. Apply the smell test.Final Step
    11. 11. 1) Evaluate for: Credibility Accuracy Reliability Supportability
    12. 12. Scholarly Articles
    13. 13.  Intended for limited audience (academic audience) Written by scholars in the field and are usually signed articles (not anonymous) More complex writing style Main purpose is to report on original research Published bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annuallyScholarly Articles
    14. 14.  Is the article from a peer reviewed journal? Are any conflicts of interest stated? Is a reference list provided?BioTech Criteria
    15. 15. http://www.vadlo.com/Cartoons/Life_in_Research_Cartoon_1198.html
    16. 16. 1) Evaluate using the BioTech criteria: 1) Is the article from a peer reviewed journal? 2) Are any conflicts of interest stated? 3) Is there a reference list and how complete is it?2) Evaluate using an additional two questions from the whiteboard.