understanding journal articles/statistics

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM

are there any resources (aside from going back to college!) to help me understand all of the flaws with studies and scientific journals and statistics?

this is a very broad question, sorry. I read studies and I know they seem "off" but without any background education, I find many of them hard to decipher. Thank you.



on March 20, 2013
at 06:53 PM

just how to ID the good/bad studies..ideally id understand statistics myself but baby steps!



on March 19, 2013
at 03:01 PM

are you looking to interpret the statistics yourself? or just to understand how to identify good/bad scientific studies?

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3 Answers



on March 19, 2013
at 03:11 PM

What might be useful is to visit http://suppversity.blogspot.com and see how Adel Moussa takes journal papers and studies and interprets the actual data.

He is well known for presenting the information as is, and thought of (affectionately) as a bit of a 'genius' like that. God only knows how he has time to read and write those blog posts and finish his doctorate.

Anyway he came to mind as a good example of how to interpret what is actually presented and may be helpful as a kind of practical application in working.



on March 19, 2013
at 03:04 PM

Best intro book I've ever read: http://www.amazon.com/Statistics-Data-Analysis-Elementary-Intermediate/dp/0137444265

Also you should look through opencourseware: http://www.ocwconsortium.org/ I am sure there are some stat courses they offer.


on March 19, 2013
at 05:10 PM

Keep reading scientific, and peer reviews literature on subjects that interest you, and your ability to critically analyze will increase with experience!

What are the kinds of articles that seem "off" to you? I read one the other day that stated that high fat diets caused airway inflammation and generally worsened asthma symptoms, yet the meals given to the subjects were primarily carbohydrate based with high amounts of fats. it was not even discussed if the carbohydrates could be the source of inflammation, just came to the conclusion that eating a high fat diet is bad for asthmatics...

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