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UCC LibGuides at Union County College
Websites related to Scientific Skepticism
"Groups across Australia that investigate paranormal and pseudo-scientific claims from a responsible scientific viewpoint."
Bay Area Skeptics
Focused on claims of the paranormal, pseudoscience, and untested or poorly tested medical and psychotherapeutic practices."
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
CSI "promotes science and scientific inquiry, critical thinking, science education, and the use of reason in examining important issues."
"The Skeptics Society is a ...scientific and educational organization whose mission is to engage leading experts in investigating the paranormal, fringe science, pseudoscience, and extraordinary claims of all kinds, promote critical thinking, and serve as an educational tool for those seeking a sound scientific viewpoint."
Includes "definitions, arguments, and essays on hundreds of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions. It also features dozens of entries on logical fallacies, cognitive biases, perception, science, and philosophy."
A website that can be used to investigate urban legends.
The following are some issues to consider in evaluating materials on the web.
- Who is the author (may be a person or organization)?
- What are his or her credentials for writing on this topic?
- Is the author affiliated with an organization?
- What is the reputation of that organization?
- Is there some way to contact the organization and/or verify its credibility? (address, phone number, e-mail address?)
Purpose & Coverage
- What is the main purpose of the page?
- to provide information?
- to sell a product?
- to make a political point?
- to have fun?
- make fun of a person or organization?
- Is it geared to a particular audience or level of expertise?
- Is it a comprehensive resource or does it focus on a narrow range of information? Is it clear about this focus?
- If it's an information database, are the dates of coverage clear and appropriate to your needs? Is it easy to search? Does it present information in a usable format?
- If the page is interactive (a database or simulation, for instance), does it effectively present the information in a usable format?
- Is the information reliable and error free?
- Is there an editor or someone assigned to verify the accuracy of the information?
- Based on what you already know about the subject (or have checked from other sources), does this information seem credible?
- Are there obvious typos or misspelled words or other signs of sloppiness?
- Is it clear when the information was published?
- When was it last updated?
- Are there any indications that an attempt is made to keep the pages current?
- If there are links to other Web pages, are they current?
- Does the page show a minimum of bias?
- Does it use inflammatory or provocative language?
- If the page contains advertising, are the ads clearly distinguishable from the content?
- Is the source of any factual information clearly stated?
- Does the page rely on photographic images to make a point? If so, be aware that digital images can be easily manipulated.