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IDSC 100: Science in the News

For Professor Cindy Blaha - Fall 2020

Evaluating Sources

Who is the author? What do you know about them?

What type of news article is it? Opinion? Science journalism? Editorial?

Which newspaper, journal, or source is it published in? What is the reputation of that newspaper, web site, blog, or journal? 

What year was it written? How current is it?

What is the evidence? Does the article cite evidence? Is the evidence research or quotes and tweets? If it quotes individuals, do those individuals have relevant authority to this topic? Is the evidence generalizable (e.g. there is a big difference between quoting a woman speaking to her own and her friends' experiences and quoting the primary investigator of a study that found a similar phenomenon)? Are there tables, charts, equations, and citations?

What is the purpose of the article? Is it informative? Persuasive? Is it alerting or providing detail?

Who is the audience? What assumptions does the author make about her or his audience? What level of detail is included? What kind of terminology is used and is it defined for the reader?

Full Text News Searches

Search for General Science Literature

After searching for your topic keywords in ProQuest, use the filters on the left to limit to a) Magazines or Newspapers, then to b) Publication Titles of familiar science publications like:

  • New Scientist
  • Popular Science
  • Science News
  • Science News for Students

 

After searching on a topic of interest, use filters on the left to narrow by source type to magazines, or by Publication to a particular title like:

  • Scientific American
  • New Scientist
  • Science News

You may find that there are better quality versions of the article on the magazine's web site - you might want to try both. 

Specific Titles

Image of filters on nature.com web site