When was the last time you picked up an encyclopedia for the answers you desperatly seeked? Propably years ago. Instead you open google and check out the first result that pops up. Don’t get me wrong – often the internet provides more recent information than any book. Especially in the rather new field of nutritional science it is likely that statements from 5 years ago are outdated or even refuted. The tricky part now is to filter the billions of hits from google to identify the reliable Information.
Check the following steps to evaluate the reliablity of an article you may encounter:
- Title – are shocking and scandalous titles used to polarize or is the scientific information in focus?
- Date – is the content up-to-date? New studies and findings are published every day!
- Publisher – is the information published by a governmental/research institute or scientific website instead of social media or a news website?
- Density – lots of words with little information or little words with lots of information? Go for the latter.
- References – are facts confirmed by external references (links to scientific websites or studies)? Evaluate the studies mentioned – read more on how to do that here.
If you want to learn from examples, I recommend my series Myths versus science, where I dig deeper into articles and cited references.
Of course there are also articles that were published by individuals with scientific background or a deep knowledge of the subject. Therefore it is always important to build a profound knowledge yourself to be able to make the right decisions. Usually the proplem is that the content of most of these sources is quite complicated and extensive. Therefore it is my goal to build a bridge between complex scientific content and interested readers. If you’d like to check out some websites I use for my research, you can find it down below.
In conclusion, if you are looking for some reliable information online, keep this five steps in mind, observe carefully and build a profound knowledge basis.
And if it is to good to be true, it propably is.
Websites I use for research
- Science Direct (peer-reviewed journals, articles, book chapters and open access content)
- National Health Service (Health A to Z, UK)
- The Nutrition Source (articles by Harvard School of Public Health)
- Science Daily (latest resarch news)
- PubMed (library of medical health studies)
- Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (Medienservice, German )
… to be continued.