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PPLSKILL #11 Source Evaluation 🔍

PPLSKILL #11 Source Evaluation 🔍
By Vahid A.Nezhad • Issue #12 • View online
Source evaluation is the practice of determining whether sources of information are appropriate to use for a given purpose or not. In this issue, I go far beyond what is expected when looking for data for research, presentations, or blog posts.
#critical_thinking #misinformation #data_evaluation

📖 From data to knowledge via fake news
Critical Thinking: Your Guide to Effective Argument, Successful Analysis and Independent Study by Tom Chatfield
Critical Thinking: Your Guide to Effective Argument, Successful Analysis and Independent Study by Tom Chatfield
Words like “data”, “information” and “knowledge” are often used interchangeably. When it comes to thinking critically about technology, however, it pays to be more precise. Here is some raw data for you to consider:
8091, 8848, 8167, 8611, 8586, 8485, 8163, 8126, 8188, 8516.
Data like this consists of raw facts that haven’t yet been processed or organized. As a first step in processing this data, let’s arrange the numbers in some kind of order:
8848, 8611, 8586, 8516, 8485, 8188, 8167, 8163, 8126, 8091.
By itself, simply arranging numbers in ascending or descending order doesn’t make them useful or comprehensible. They could refer to anything. Now, however, let’s to provide a context:
The heights of the ten tallest mountains in the world in meters are: 8848, 8611, 8586, 8516, 8485, 8188, 8167, 8163, 8126, 8091.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Instead of a mere sequence of numbers, you are looking at some specific information: data that has been processed, arranged or structured within a context that makes it meaningful.
Information makes claims about the way things are, but it does not necessarily give us any reason to accept these claims as true. Knowledge, by contrast, is information that we have good reason to believe is true: a much rarer and more difficult thing to acquire.
Knowledge requires information, but it also requires something further: verification. Verification is the process of testing information against reality.
How might you set about verifying the heights I have supplied for the world’s ten tallest mountains? As in almost any contemporary scenario that doesn’t involve conducting an experiment, you would do this primarily through digital information systems: by going online, by searching websites and references, by sifting the world’s vast quantities of shared information.
📝 Article
CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. The CRAAP Test was developed by librarians at California State University-Chico as a handy tool for evaluating web resources (or ANY resource).
With this test, you can determine if you can trust a source enough to use it for purposes of research.
CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information
  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
RELEVANCE: The importance of the information for your needs
  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (elementary, advanced)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
AUTHORITY: The source of the information
  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?
ACCURACYThe reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
PURPOSE: The reason the information exists
  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
Read more here
🍿 Video
How statistics can be misleading - Mark Liddell
How statistics can be misleading - Mark Liddell
Statistics are persuasive. So much so that people, organizations, and whole countries base some of their most important decisions on organized data. But any set of statistics might have something lurking inside it that can turn the results completely upside down. Mark Liddell investigates Simpson’s paradox.
🔬 Data
Look Out for Dubious Statistics
Look Out for Dubious Statistics
🎙️ Podcast
Tcast - Critical Thinking With Data
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Vahid A.Nezhad

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