Sources of Knowledge
Finding and Organising information
How do you know what is an authoritative source of information and where are the best places to get this information?
There are millions of online information sources with varying degrees of accurate information. In many instances data integrity is not an imperative BUT when it comes to making an informed decision about something important then data and information accuracy is essential.
So how do you know that the information is accurate and that it has been sourced from an organisation or individual acknowledged as a reputable authority?
Read the Web Evaluation article and then complete the following task.
Evaluate the 5 websites on the scoop.it site using the rubric provided and determine which sites contain reliable material and why you think it is reliable.
To Google or Not to Google!
While Google is perhaps the most popular search engine on the web today there are many other search engines available - some of which have been specifically designed with education in mind.
Google Scholar provides parameters that you can use when you need to limit the search to full papers. See the link here to find out how Google scholar.
'Good' versus 'bad' information
When conducting research how do we know whether a resource is authoritative or not?
How do we become discerning users of information?
To help you learn how to interrogate web resources complete the task below as part of your Research Journey.
Creative Commons and Copyright
The issues of copyright, intellectual property, creative commons and co-creation of information are all aspects of the inquiry process that need to be considered when conducting your inquiry. While it is not a focus of this unit it is still an important area of consideration when using information that is found on the web. More details here.
The importance of data sources for scientific inquiry
It is important that you approach inquiry with skepticism. Some amazingly strange and bizarre research has been carried out over the years. Some would never be authorised now due to ethics constraints or as we discover more information about the area of research and revise ideas. Here are some of the considerations that we need to review.
a) Peer Review
What is the source of the material? This relates to when and where it was published. This is important as when papers are printed in a reputable journal they have been subjected to extensive peer review. That means it has been examined and considered by others in the field.
Has the methodology been extensively examined? When the methodology is listed other researchers can review the method used and replicate the results. If the results are replicable then it gives the results more value.
Are the results able to be generalised to other situations? If the research looked at the action of a new drug on the mind of small mammals such as mice , there is no way the research can be applied to humans without further research. Studies on the effect of caffeine on post menopausal women yield different results from the effect of caffeine on young male athletes under 25 years old.
Ensuring that you can read and examine the data presented to you and make sense of the information is vital. These short articles examine the data related to infectious diseases and are from Health Protection Agency in the UK. Download all the 3 PDF's attached to the buttons to the right and examine the data collected and presented to answer the questions contained below.
See the BB site for the Learning Activities
See the BB site for details