September 8th, 2022
While science news has some of the most important content, it also has an unfortunate history of being misreported and misunderstood. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips to help you spot fake science news on your own, saving you time and energy that could be used more effectively elsewhere. We hope you find it helpful!
What makes something fake?
Unfortunately, with the increase in digital media, the amount of false information being spread has increased as well. Science articles are one of the most susceptible categories since scientific findings are often new and have the potential to impact society. Fortunately, there are ways you can tell if an online post about a scientific finding is true or not:
-Has there been a peer-reviewed publication? What does it say? Is there a citation in it? Scientific research needs to be peer-reviewed by other scientists before it's published, which means that its legitimacy will likely be reflected in whatever review appears on its paper.
Reading between the lines
Many times people don't know how to tell the difference between real and fake science. Real science is based on real facts while fake or sensationalized science has been created with false, unsubstantiated, or questionable claims. The way that you can tell the difference is through the details. In real, factual stories there are many pieces of information that can support it while sensationalized ones typically rely on one side of the story.
This claim doesn't take into account all the scientific literature available.
This conclusion cannot be drawn without considering external factors such as peer review and methodological soundness of work.
Sources used were not vetted for accuracy or quality.
Wouldn't these conclusions have already been determined by
Take a look at who published it
There are many sources of science news in the world. You'll find these on your social media feeds, through trusted newspapers and magazines, blogs, universities or other government-based organizations, like the World Health Organization. Some sources specialize in a certain field or topic--for example, if you're interested in space exploration then NASA would be a good source of information for you. In general, though, it's always best to examine where your scientific facts are coming from before you read them.
Look at who wrote it
Fake science news is mostly written by authors with the intention of spreading misinformation and swaying people's opinions. Now, this isn't all that difficult, as it's easy to find sites that will publish just about anything without a second thought. A few key indicators should have you questioning whether an item is trustworthy or not: are the points written in coherent sentences? Does the author mention any sources? Have you seen information from this site before? When in doubt, don't trust it.
Check out their sources
Two professors from Merrimack College in Massachusetts have just released a book entitled Spotting Fake Science News. The textbook serves as a guide for middle and high school teachers, college professors, journalists, and the general public in discerning what's real and what isn't. Professor Gary Schwitzer told NPR that the title is aptly chosen. It's easier than you think to confuse someone, he said. The blog post might look authoritative with its graphs and charts, but it might be something somebody just made up. The book contains practical advice on how to check sources online including looking at whether the author has a published track record. It also offers tips on figuring out when writing isn't peer-reviewed or is self-published.
Is it peer-reviewed?
A peer-reviewed publication is the gold standard of academic publishing. In these cases, the paper has been checked by other experts in the field, who then send their feedback back to the author. The first stage of this process is an initial review by an editor and a decision on whether or not to send it out for peer review (usually based on significance). If they decide that it needs ข่าวไอที work, they'll work with the author to get their feedback and make improvements. These are then sent back out for further reviews from other experts in that specific field and any revisions or changes are made based on those comments. It's rare for papers not to be sent out for peer review, though this does happen.
Use your judgment and common sense.
When it comes to choosing the best science news, not everything is what it seems. Some stories are falsified or purposefully left out of the story in order to create a narrative. In order to combat this, always take a moment and think critically about what you're reading. Ask yourself these questions: Who benefits from this information? What’s the source? And is this person qualified to speak on this topic? Thinking critically will help you avoid any misinformation as well as give you sound, scientific facts for your piece of work.
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