Invention - recognise source bias and quality

Sometimes it is obvious that a source is not good. SOmetimes it is not.

Checking academic articles

Basics

High quality sources to look for

Academic articles can also be low quality.

Carefully peer-reviewed articles/books are usually found on:

Low quality sources to avoid

The above are only suggestions.

Bias and Quality practice task

What is Bias?

Here are five sources (journal, newspaper)


Bias Quality
Unbiased = 5 High Quality = A
Maybe a bit biased = 3 Medium Quality = B
Totally Biased = 1 Low Quality = C

References

Griffiths, P. (2010). Lack of rigour in defending Fairtrade: a reply to Alastair Smith. Economic Affairs, 30(2), 45-49. Retrieved from http://www.griffithsspeaker.com/Fairtrade/why_fair_trade_isn.htm

Smith, A. (2008). Fair Trade, Diversification and Structural Change: Towards a broader theoretical framework of analysis. Oxford Development Studies 37(4), 457–478. Retrieved from http://orca.cf.ac.uk/6918/

Carimentrand, A., & Ballet, J. (2010). When Fair Trade increases unfairness: The case of quinoa from Bolivia. Retrieved from http://ethique.perso.sfr.fr/Working%20paper%20FREE-Cahier%20FREE%20n%B05-2010.pdf

Booth, P. (2009, February 20). Don’t bully the faithful into buying Fairtrade. The Catholic Herald. Retrieved from http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/20th-february-2009/12/dont-bully-the-faithful-into-buying-fairtrade

Hamel, I. (2006, August 3). Fairtrade Firm Accused of Foul Play. Swiss Info. Retrieved from http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Fair_trade_firm_accused_of_foul_play.html?cid=5351232 23/12/2009

Satire and April Fools: getting "onioned"

When you do not read critically enough, sometimes you even believe things that are written to be funny.

  • For example, some people shared this article with their friends thinking it was real: (link)
  • Even real newspaper sometimes unthinkingly reprint articles that were meant as jokes:

Your turn

Of these articles, some are jokes and some are real. Can you tell the difference? How?

A: (link)

B: (link)

C: (link)

D: (link)

E: (link)

F: (link)

F: (link)

G: (link)

SolutionL: Checking the source

Some sources are usually reliable. Some are usually not.

  • Is it a joke site?
  • Is it a type of source known for being unrelieable (e.g. a tabloid newspaper)
  • Is it likely to be very biased?

However, even reliable sources sometimes print things that are not true (either deliberately on April Fools, or by accident), so...

Solution: Triangulate

Check AT LEAST TWO other DIFFERENT sources, to see if it is also reported there.

  • If it is about a country, read the papers from other countries
  • If it is political, read papers biased to more than one side
  • If it is a new science article, check for replication or similar research. Many new findings are not reliable until the experiment has been repeated a few times. Wait, or report carefully