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Jan 27, 2017 12:06 PM EST

The Right Approach to Distinguish Credible from Fake Science News

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The epidemic of fake news has been a discussion and topic that everybody is talking about and how it affects the credibility of news and journalism. To those people who feel that the reports do not echo their beliefs, they think that anything they read and hear are fake news but that is not what it is.

Fake news refers to the outright lies that aim to sell a narrative to a target audience by quoting sources who never really said what they claimed to have said, making up stories and events that never happened at all and many others. This is something that you may continue to hear in the next few years and it also happens in science reporting as writes aimlessly try to gain attention with sensational headlines.

According to Stat News, even science journalists fell for their own share of fake news, an example is the one on HealthNewsReview, which rates coverage of medical reporting. These include the breathless and most likely incorrect revelation that actor Ben Stiller skirted death by getting a screening test for prostate cancer.

While it is difficult to separate real scientific news from clickbait, here are the three steps to sort out the truth from the trash, according to Big Think.

Neatness

Carefully conducted research should look neat and free of typographical errors and cruddy looking graphics. Although it is not really a reliable test, neatness will always reveal if due diligence is at play.

Obviousness

When a study reveals something that is already pretty much obvious and basic, it is best to do a little research on that announcement, because chances are, you will find out that the topic has been studied many times before already.

Check who published it

To help you ascertain the value of a report, checking the publisher can also help. The journal's ranking may not guarantee its trustworthiness but it is a good place to start.

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