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Research

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Goblin, Jan 21, 2012.


  1. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    I thought I'd post this here rather than the Dog chat where I normally hang out and I realize most will know these...

    It's all very well asking a question on these forums to which you get responses, possibly even answers you are happy with but what happens when you get conflicting information? For many of us it's time for a little bit of research. People here frequently do a lot of research and I would ask them to post hints and tips for other so that they can find possibly necessary accurate information. Here's my initial thoughts

    • Know your browser. Sounds daft but using CTRL-C to copy text and CTRL-V to paste it into a search bar can save loads of time. Having several "tabs" or windows can mean you can easily compare details between different sites.
    • Search Engines (e.g. Google) are your best friend and worst enemy. Best friend as it enables you to find what you are looking for. Worst enemy as you find it's normally opinion not fact. I often find it useful to search on multiple search phrases for a single thing I'm researching to get the widest possible amount of information to look at in more detail. Then it's reading through it possibly performing additional searches based on what I've read.
    • Never trust what you read. Most of what you read, especially on the internet, is only personal opinion. Not fact. Experience counts for a lot but if someone says "a study found Y" expect them to show which study the are quoting from. I can easily write "a study found it is possible to impregnate a chameleon with flurescant markers which allows an effect like a multicoloured lamp". It doesn't mean it's true;)
    • Confirm sources. When a source is listed check it out. You can normally pull the name and date of the study out so you can search for it.
    • Try to find conflicting sources. You frequently have conflicting information on the net. Not just opinions but also scientific studies sometimes disagree. If you find out something try to find evidence it's wrong. If it's scientific evidence try to find if you can see a flaw in how the report was created. Things like very low sample sizes, long term effects where result were only checked for a couple of years etc.
    • Check dates of sources. Information on the web is frequently out of date. For dogs you often see sites stating how you need to be "alpha". This is now thought of as being outdated. I'm sure there are lots of similar examples.
    • A little knowledge can be bad. We've all done it.. Our XXX has YY symptoms.. internet.. oh dear could be mild disease A or deadly disease B.. It's got to be B doesn't it;) Find out facts, do not worry over what could be but do take necessary action. By all means find out all you can, after all there may be things which you can point out to your vet or even questions which you would like answers to from them.

    One final thing I will say. The internet should never be used as a replacement for seeing a veterinary expert.
     
    Dogless likes this.
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