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Strategies for Success: Evaluating Web Sources

A research guide for STRT 1000, designed to be delivered during a synchronous Zoom instruction session with a librarian

Lateral Reading

Evaluating AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an extremely powerful tool, but one that must be closely evaluated, just like other web sources. For example, look at the two passages below. Both sound like excerpts from academic articles, but one was AI-generated. Which one is AI-generated and how can you tell?

Passage 1

Aged care facilities (ACFs) are residential communities with a concentration of vulnerable individuals with increased risk of severe influenza infection and complications such as outbreaks, hospitalisations and deaths. Aged care workers (ACW) are potential sources of influenza introduction and transmission in ACFs. Little is known about vaccine uptake among ACW. This study aimed to measure the vaccine uptake rate among Australian ACW and evaluate the demographic determinants of uptake during the influenza season of 2018.

146 ACWs were recruited from 7 facilities of a multisite aged care provider in Sydney. ACWs completed a questionnaire regarding their demographic, occupational and vaccination status. Vaccine coverage was calculated and variables were examined against their 2018 influenza vaccination status in statistical analysis.

Passage 2

The objective of this study was to investigate the spread of influenza in elderly populations in Australia. A retrospective cohort design was employed, using data collected from electronic medical records of patients aged 65 years and over who had been diagnosed with influenza during the period of January 2016 to December 2018. The study population comprised a total of 14,527 patients from 12 hospitals across three states of Australia. Data on demographic characteristics, vaccination status, comorbidities, clinical presentation, and outcomes were collected and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

The results of the study indicated that the incidence of influenza was highest among elderly individuals who had not received the influenza vaccine. Additionally, patients with underlying chronic medical conditions were found to have a higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Spatial analysis showed that there were regional differences in the incidence of influenza, with higher rates observed in certain areas.

Which one is AI? Think about/discuss how you would know.
Passage 1: 34 votes (52.31%)
Passage 2: 31 votes (47.69%)
Total Votes: 65

Evaluating Web Sources

Evaluate the credibility of some of these sources.

1. Employment Policies Institute

Would you use the Employment Policies Institute in your college research paper?
Yes: 68 votes (28.22%)
No: 65 votes (26.97%)
Maybe: 108 votes (44.81%)
Total Votes: 241
Is this malaria charity legitimate?
Yes: 58 votes (67.44%)
No: 16 votes (18.6%)
Maybe: 12 votes (13.95%)
Total Votes: 86
Would you use Food Babe as a source?
Yes: 19 votes (8.19%)
No: 194 votes (83.62%)
Maybe: 19 votes (8.19%)
Total Votes: 232
Would you use this Nature article?
Yes: 148 votes (73.27%)
No: 21 votes (10.4%)
Maybe: 33 votes (16.34%)
Total Votes: 202

Sample Sites

Use these sites to practice the process of lateral reading.