It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Questions to Ask Yourself when Evaluating an Article
Is this written for a scholarly or technical audience?
Is the article appropriate for your needs?
Does the article explore one issue in detail?
Is the article free of errors?
Does it provide documentation? (Look for Footnotes, citations, or a bibliography)
Are the citations scholarly sources? (From books or journals rather than websites)
Can you determine any bias in the article?
Does the article have any funding disclosure statements? (Does this raise any issues of objectivity)
Is the author identified?
Is the author an expert in the field?
Are the authors credentials noted?
Is the publisher a university press, or other scholarly publisher?
Is the article written recently?
Is it important to have recent information on the topic?
Does the article contain information that supports your research?
Does the article have references that can point you to additional useful materials?
The answers to these questions will help quide your evaluation.
Check the authority of the article. Articles with funding disclosure statements can be a red flag that the article may represent the objectives of the funder. If an article is funded by an organization, foundation or group look into the funding organization.
Consider what is important to your specific needs. An article may not need to be recent for certain topics. If you are doing a paper on cancer treatment currency is important, but for a paper on the Civil War, currency is not as important.
Misinformation can have significant societal consequences. For example, misinformation about climate change has confused the public and stalled support for mitigation policies. When people lack the expertise and skill to evaluate the science behind a claim, they typically rely on heuristics such as substituting judgment about something complex (i.e. climate science) with judgment about something simple (i.e. the character of people who speak about climate science) and are therefore vulnerable to misleading information. Inoculation theory offers one approach to effectively neutralize the influence of misinformation. Typically, inoculations convey resistance by providing people with information that counters misinformation. In contrast, we propose inoculating against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims. We offer a strategy based on critical thinking methods to analyse and detect poor reasoning within denialist claims. This strategy includes detailing argument structure, determining the truth of the premises, and checking for validity, hidden premises, or ambiguous language. Focusing on argument structure also facilitates the identification of reasoning fallacies by locating them in the reasoning process. Because this reason-based form of inoculation is based on general critical thinking methods, it offers the distinct advantage of being accessible to those who lack expertise in climate science. We applied this approach to 42 common denialist claims and find that they all demonstrate fallacious reasoning and fail to refute the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming. This comprehensive deconstruction and refutation of the most common denialist claims about climate change is designed to act as a resource for communicators and educators who teach climate science and/or critical thinking. (Abstract from the article)