BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - American Medical Association, Statistical Hypothesis Testing

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LECTURE 3 Science and Evaluating Scientific Information
Evaluating Scientific Information
Primary Source
- comes first and contains original research on which other research is based
- is usually the first formal appearance of experimental results and must contain a results section
and be written in the first person
Evaluating Scientific Information
Primary Source
•researchers can submit a paper about their results to a professional journal
•primary journals: Nature, Science, Ecology, Journal of Ornithology, Journal of Physiology,
Journal of American Medical Association, etc
Evaluating Scientific Information
•Peer review: evaluation of submitted research papers by other experts in the field
Scholarly Article:
- is an article that is published in a peer-reviewed journal (also called a
scholarly journal
)
- is intended for a professional or academic reader/audience, and the language in which it is
written tends to be formal and scientific (i.e., contains scientific terminology)
Peer-reviewed journals:
- note that not all items in a scholarly journal are scholarly research articles
- peer-reviewed journals will also publish opinions (also called editorials), news items, letters to
the editor, and book reviews
Secondary sources:
- describes, interprets, comments on, discusses material found in primary sources
- books, magazines, news reports, internet, and advertisements Popular articles: - magazines,
newspaper articles
•Anecdotal evidence:
•example:
Why do anecdotes make such a large impression or influence more people than statistical
results?
Biology, Science, and the Media
Science in the News
•secondary sources may be missing critical information or report the information incorrectly
•consider the source of media reports
•be careful with the internet …
•be careful with television talk shows…
•be cautious about claims made in paid advertisements…
WHY???
Understanding Science from Secondary Sources
•news media generally highlight only those science stories that seem newsworthy
•they are more likely to report a positive result than a negative one
Ulcers: A Scientific Breakthrough
Evaluating Scientific Information
Understanding Science from Secondary Sources
use your understanding of the process of science to evaluate science stories written by reporters
•hypotheses testing
•news-worthy stories
•basic statistics
•limitations of research
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Document Summary

Comes first and contains original research on which other research is based. Is usually the first formal appearance of experimental results and must contain a results section and be written in the first person. Primary source: researchers can submit a paper about their results to a professional journal, primary journals: nature, science, ecology, journal of ornithology, journal of physiology, Evaluating scientific information: peer review: evaluation of submitted research papers by other experts in the field. Is an article that is published in a peer-reviewed journal (also called a scholarly journal) Is intended for a professional or academic reader/audience, and the language in which it is written tends to be formal and scientific (i. e. , contains scientific terminology) Note that not all items in a scholarly journal are scholarly research articles. Peer-reviewed journals will also publish opinions (also called editorials), news items, letters to the editor, and book reviews. Describes, interprets, comments on, discusses material found in primary sources.

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