You’re Doing It Wrong: How to Really Research Online
You can find out anything on the Internet. At least it seems that way. Truth is, when you’re doing research online, you’re liable to stumble onto information that looks true but actually isn’t.
And that can scuttle your research quickly. Fortunately, Lifehacker.com recently provided several tips on how to conduct better research on the Internet. Follow these guidelines and you’ll soon be finding the truth online.
Watch for your biases
Lifehacker’s first tip? Watch out for your own biases. We’re all guilty of something known as confirmation bias. We want to find information that supports our preconceived notions. For example, if you’re a lifelong liberal, you’ll be more likely to believe studies showing that poverty is the real reason behind low school test scores.
It’s important when researching online to recognize your own biases and to make sure that you’re not selectively sourcing studies that confirm it. It’s important to acknowledge research that contradicts your beliefs.
Quality of information
Once you’re searching online, be wary of articles that aren’t backed up with references or scientific facts. Lifehacker says that poorly researched articles, which often end up online, are the only things that can screw up your online research faster than can confirmation bias. So be sure to only include articles that come from legitimate sources such as government agencies, accredited universities and well-respected researchers in your online research.
Fine-tune your search
When searching for online information, it’s OK to start with popular search engines like Bing or Google. However, when you want detailed information, it’s time to rely on more specialized searches of journal articles and reference items. Try such engines as Google Scholar, Scirus and PLOS for scientific and scholarly resource that can provide more meat to your research.
Read more at: Lifehacker.com