Now, we know how to research, hooray!!!
But… we want to make sure our research is credible! For different types of research, different sources will be most credible. Let's explore how to navigate this!
The credibility of sources is important in research because it helps to ensure that the information being used is accurate and reliable. Information from credible sources is more likely to be trustworthy and unbiased, whereas information from non-credible sources may be unreliable or contain errors. Additionally, using credible sources can help to increase the overall credibility and validity of the research itself. In short, it is essential to use credible sources in research to ensure that findings are accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
Image courtesy of GIPHY
How do we analyze credibility? We use the acronym RAVEN!
R-Reputation: Analyze the background of the author (or primary author). Include where they work, their institution of education, and some background on their previous publications if they have any.
A-Ability to investigate: Describe how the author may have the ability to collect this data/make their conclusions. Do they have lab access? Are they part of the American Psychological Association? Etc.
V-Vested interest: Explain what stake the author may have in the results of the study. Would they have a personal interest to advance?
E-Expertise: What degree does the author have to give them credibility in this field? How verifiable is this information?
N-Neutrality: Does the author seem neutral when writing about the question, study, or results?
Here's a student RAVEN example on an article called Sleepless in Fairfax, which can be found at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25178930/
The author, Adam Winsler, is an educational psychologist with a specialization in pediatrics. He has published more than 100 works on the effects of sleeplessness, specifically within children. He works for George Mason university, and has studied the impacts of several factors on the development of ethnic children as well.
Ability to Observe:
The author has specialized knowledge in this particular field, as he is an associate chair professor in the psychology department at George Mason University.
The evidence Winsler utilized is highly specialized as well and comes from numerous peer-reviewed journals.
The information presented about adolescents in this article is highly verifiable through other peer-reviewed articles, as sleeplessness in teens that leads to depression etc. has been seen as a general trend in the psychological field.
The author does not seem wholly neutral on this particular subject matter. He has repeatedly done studies on the effects of certain phenomena on children. Due to this, he has most certainly formed an opinion on the subject of sleep and behavior. As a researcher, it is virtually impossible to not let your results affect your opinion.
This was published in 2014, and is considered a relatively new study. The article seems balanced and objective with the thorough research conducted.
Make sure to check the date of publication of an article!
A peer-reviewed study, also called a "peer-reviewed article" or "scholarly article," is a type of research publication that has undergone a formal evaluation process by experts in the same field or domain as the authors. These experts, known as "peers," review the study's methodology, findings, and overall quality to ensure that it meets the standards of the field and is worthy of publication. The peer-review process is intended to help ensure the reliability, validity, and overall quality of the research. Peer-reviewed studies are typically published in academic journals and are considered to be a reliable source of information in research and scholarship.
When you are trying to learn about how people behave, what they think, and what they like, it's important to make sure the information you are getting is true and reliable. This means checking where the information is coming from and who gave it to you. The people who answer your questions or who you observe have to be honest and have good memories, and the way you ask the questions or watch them has to be done correctly. This way, you can be sure that the information you are getting is accurate and can be trusted.