April 27, 2014
Validity, Credibility, and Reliability
Some reasons you might consider data or info to lack validity, credibility, or reliability include the nature of source, poor research, or clear bias. If the source is not credible, it throws into question how much to believe it. If the research is poor, or if poor statistical methods are used, the data is flawed. Otherwise, evident bias can mean the info is tainted.
There are a few ways that I know and understand the difference between credible and non-credible information. A credible source has information from the publisher including dates and accurate information about the author. Credible information also has background information about the author including other reading materials he/she has written and dates of writing them. Lastly, you should examine the audience in which you are writing or researching for. For example, if you are writing a history paper for a college course, be sure to include significant dates, preferably a timeline and terms and also site everything to earn credit and not plagiarize.
To identify a non-credible source, it will include a site in which the information can be edited such as Wikipedia and blogs. Wikipedia is a site where you can research information and also edit the site to say anything that you want it to say. For example, many people change dates on Wikipedia so when you go to research, the dates are not accurate. A blog is a site where individuals share their thoughts and opinions. Many blogs are not credible because it is opinion based and a research paper is not always about opinions but mostly about facts and ways to prove what you are saying is true. Personally, I used Wikipedia in the past not for research but for personal use to identify things that I did not know before but you cannot always go on there for college related work because you will not know what is accurate and what is not. Poor research is when you do not put effort in...