LP2 Assignment: Junk Science
The following links are to three different articles. Use the questions listed to help evaluate the articles. Based on the criteria listed, decide if you think the sites are valuable resources or if the sites cannot be trusted. Your report should be prepared in a Microsoft Word document, double-spaced, and in 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial). Be sure to use proper spelling and grammar.
• Energy and Nutrient Flow Through Ecosystems
• Environmental Issues: An Alternate Perspective
• The Potential for Biofuels from Algae
Junk Science: Detection Method
The reality is that anyone can now publish his or her ideas, words, and work. In some ways, this has opened many new doors of possibility around the globe. In other ways, it has allowed anyone to publish on a subject whether they know anything about it or not. In science, we often require that research be scrutinized by other experts in the field before it can be published in a scientific journal. This process of peer-review helps maintain high standards and quality in the field of research. But absolutely anyone can publish a book or post a paper on the web without any expertise or peer-reviewed scrutiny of their work. In such cases, how do we know if what we’re reading is valid and reliable or just complete junk? It’s very important to always critically assess the legitimacy of what you’re reading before assuming it’s valid.
The questions listed below will help you to learn how to evaluate scientific resources. For each of the linked articles or web sites, use the questions below to evaluate the article or site. You do not have to list the answers to all the questions. You will state if you think the article or site is legitimate and trustworthy or if it is not. Your opinion must be supported with an explanation. The questions will help you determine the legitimacy and provide a guide for you to use for your explanation.
1. Is the author listed? If the author is listed, do they have the proper credentials to support that he or she is an expert on this subject?
2. Does the author stand to benefit in any way from this article? Who published the article? Do they stand to gain from the article?
3. Does the article cite reliable sources? Blogs, advertisements, for-profit sites, or personal sites would not be considered a good source for reliable information. Peer-reviewed journals, college sites, non-profit organizations, and government sites are good examples of reliable references.
4. Is the work unbiased and based on scientific evidence?
5. According to what you have learned in the reading and the supplemental reading materials, is this article factual and accurate? Find one other reliable source to support your decision. This can be a web site, your textbook, or learning materials. You must include the text page, learning material section, or the URL for a web site.
6. Could we consider this a reliable source? Why or why not?
Submit this assignment to your instructor via the dropbox “LP2 Assignment: Junk Science.” This assignment is worth 20 points and will be graded according to the scoring guide below.
Scoring Guide (20 Points)
5 Work meets or exceeds criterion at a high level of competence.
4 Work reflects an understanding of criterion with minor misunderstandings/misconceptions.
3 Criterion partially met, but one or more important concepts/skills are missing or flawed.
2 Work reflects an attempt to meet criterion, but significant misunderstandings/misconceptions are apparent.
1-0 Criterion not met or work is absent.
1. Includes your decision as to why the first article is legitimate and trustworthy and an explanation of why or why not you believe it to be so.
2. Includes your decision as to why the second article is legitimate and trustworthy and an explanation of why or why not you believe it to be so.
3. Includes your decision as to why the third article is legitimate and trustworthy and an explanation of why or why not you believe it to be so.
4. Report evidences correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
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