background preloader

Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research

Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading about new research findings to help us make sense of our lifestyle choices. But not all research is equal, and not every research finding should be interpreted in the same way. Nor do all media headlines reflect what was actually studied or found. So how can you tell? Keep these five questions in mind when you’re reading media stories about new studies. 1. Peer review is a process by which a study is checked by experts in the discipline to assess the study’s scientific validity. This process involves the researcher writing up their study methods and results, and sending this to a journal. If there are major flaws in a study, it’s either rejected for publication, or the researchers are made to address these flaws. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Related:  Information LiteracyAcademic ResearchScience ProcessInformation Literacy lessons/resourcesInformation Literacy Lessons

What the Heck is Fake News? (Something everyone should know by now) Sigh. It’s been years and people still don’t understand what “fake news” is. In October 2019, this was brought to the fore by Citrus County Commissioner Scott Carnahan (video here) — who in my mind immediately became known as “Fake News” Carnahan — when he refused to sign-off on the library’s request to renew a New York Times digital subscription for the public because it was “fake news,” declaring, by way of reasoning, that he supported Trump. Sigh. It’s been years and people still don’t understand what fake news is.

Creating sub-collections in your school library For most of us school librarians, school’s out for the summer! Even if we’re working summer school, the pace really changes and it can be a good time to think more about big-picture changes you’d like to make in your library. One summer project you might consider is highlighting special sections of your collection by creating targeted sub-collections based on a specific type of book or theme. How to (seriously) read a scientific paper Adam Ruben’s tongue-in-cheek column about the common difficulties and frustrations of reading a scientific paper broadly resonated among Science Careers readers. Many of you have come to us asking for more (and more serious) advice on how to make sense of the scientific literature, so we’ve asked a dozen scientists at different career stages and in a broad range of fields to tell us how they do it. Although it is clear that reading scientific papers becomes easier with experience, the stumbling blocks are real, and it is up to each scientist to identify and apply the techniques that work best for them. The responses have been edited for clarity and brevity. How do you approach reading a paper? I start by reading the abstract.

An Engaging Word Game Helps Students Grasp Implicit Bias As part of an effort to demonstrate the effect of implicit bias, library media specialist Jacquelyn Whiting devised an exercise that looks similar to “Mad Libs,” the popular fill-in-the-blank word game. In EdSurge’s “Everyone Has Invisible Bias. This Lesson Shows Students How to Recognize It,” Whiting describes how she removed words from a New York Times opinion essay to create a new, highly engaging activity for a 10th-grade class. Jacquelyn Whiting Whiting removed key words from the essay to create a paragraph for students to fill-in-the-blank.

Everyone Has Invisible Bias. This Lesson Shows Students How to Recognize It. Last year, an English teacher at my school came to me with an all-too-common concern about an essay a student named Kyle had just turned in. The teacher’s 10th grade class had just finished op-ed essays on a topic of their choice, and Kyle had chosen to examine the economic impact of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy. But in his submitted draft every source in his bibliography—and I do mean every—leaned toward one political bias, and sometimes quite heavily. “It happened again,” lamented my colleague.

In a Data Literacy Crisis, Librarians Could Be the Experts We Need In his work, Chapters from My Autobiography, Mark Twain famously complained (and attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli), "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Imagine Twain’s frustration in today’s data-driven world. But he would have been in good company. Even as information, analytics, and statistics drive more decisions in our daily lives, we’re facing a data literacy crisis.

What Is Research, Really? From an ELA point of view, “research” is something you do to gather information for a report or project. But if you’re a scientist, research has a whole different meaning. It’s a way of developing a new understanding of the world and how it works. Every once in a while, my husband and I have a conversation about why two seemingly different pursuits have the same name. So recently, I decided to do a little, er, research to track down the origin of the word and, if possible, find a connection.

Steps of the Scientific Method Please ensure you have JavaScript enabled in your browser. If you leave JavaScript disabled, you will only access a portion of the content we are providing. <a href="/science-fair-projects/javascript_help.php">Here's how.</a> What is the Scientific Method? Contrary to common belief, randomised controlled trials inevitably produce biased results Much of the social and medical sciences depend on randomised control trials. But while this may be considered the foundational experimental method, a certain degree of bias inevitably arises in any trial; whether this is sample bias, selection bias, or measurement bias. This is important as the level of validity of a trial’s causal claims can be a matter of life or death. To Alexander Krauss, the scientific process is a complex human process, involving many actors required to take many unique decisions at many different stages, and so some degree of bias is unavoidable. This has implications for the reproducibility crisis, as variation between study outcomes becomes the norm, and one-to-one replication is not possible.

Fact checking and fake news lesson plans - The ultimate teacher guide The internet comes with an overload of information. Though this is a benefit to most teachers and students, internet has a dark side. Photoshop shows you pictures of things that didn’t actually happen, websites have articles with fake content, and amateur journalists invent impressive statistics that are actually a hoax. On the internet, anything may look real, but it isn’t. Think twice before you cite.

6 Google Tricks When You Don't Know What to Search For Despite spending millions of dollars on fancy algorithms, Google Search can sometimes be a fickle beast. You know that the information you’re looking for is out there, but no matter what search terms you enter, you can’t find a suitable result. But don’t worry. Repeat after me: Academic Databases are the Netflix for Nerds! – Dr. Kristen Mattson As a high school librarian, I know how important it is for my students to navigate and utilize academic databases. Ninety five percent of our students graduate with plans to continue their education, and will be expected to conduct research through their college or university library subscriptions. Teaching students to navigate the databases is not the hardest part of my job, though. The most difficult part is convincing students that they are worth exploring. Every time I am asked to introduce research strategies and resources to a class, I wrestle with the same questions:

Procedure [Types of Variables] [Activity #1] [Activity #2] [Activity #3] [Steps to Success] [Move Beyond] You're doing great! You've chosen a topic and asked a question. You've done a little bit of research and made a best guess as to what the answer might be. Now it's time to design your experiment. The first step is to write the procedure.