AB-Evaluating information: The cornerstone of civic online reasoning

By March 24, 2018comp-5005, Data science
Annotated bibliography

Evaluating information: The cornerstone of civic online reasoning

Stanford University (22 November 2016)

Paper’s reference in the IEEE style?

Stanford University, Stanford, and C. 94305 C. Complaints, “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.” [Online]. Available: https://purl.stanford.edu/fv 51yt5934. [Accessed: 24-Mar-2018].

How did you find the paper?

Linked from a general new site discussing fake news:

If applicable, write a list of the search terms you used.

  1. Fake news

Was the paper peer reviewed? Explain how you found out.


Does the author(s) work in a university or a government-funded research institute? If so, which university or research institute? If not, where do they work?


What does this tell you about their expertise? Are they an expert in the topic area?


What was the paper about?

This paper discussed the results of a study carried out between January 2015 and June 2016.  The study administered 56 tasks to students across 12 US states.  7,804 student responses were collected and analysed.

…we would hope that middle school students could distinguish an ad from a news story

The study covered students in middle school, high school and college and tested their ability to:

Middle school:

  • Determine what tweets are trustworthy
  • Identify articles that are sponsored and why they may not be reliable
  • Evaluate comments on a newspaper and whether they would use it in a research report

High school:

  • Compare and evaluate two posts from a newspaper comments section
  • Identify the facebook blue check mark that distinguishes a verified from a fake account
  • Consider the strength of arguments from two users on facebook
  • Deciding whether to trust a photograph
  • Determine whether a news story or a sponsored post is more reliable


  • Identify whether a website can be trusted.
  • Search online to verify a claim about a controversial topic.
  • Determine whether a partisan sire it trustworthy
  • Watch an online video and identify its strengths and weaknesses
  • Explain why a tweek might or might not be a useful source of information

The Stanford History Education Group tests civic reasoning – the ability to judge the credibility of information that floods young people’s smartphones, tablets, and computers

Ordinary people once relied on publishers, editors, and subject matter experts to vet the information they consumed.  But on the unregulated internet, all bets are off

The report found that:

  • from a final group of 203 middle school students, 3/4 of students correctly identified traditional advertisements from news stories.  But, 80% believed that native advertising, identified by the words “sponsored content” was real news.
  • from a final group of 170 high school students, after viewing a post and photo on imgur depicting “deformed” flowers at ‘Fukushima”,  less than 20% of the students questioned the source of a post and the embedded photo, 40% argued that the post provided strong evidence.

If applicable, is this paper similar to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?


If applicable, is this paper different to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?


What do these similarities and differences suggest? What are your observations? Do you have any new ideas? Do you have any conclusions?

This report from Stanford provides evidence that users, at least those currently in school or university, are not good judges of the accuracy of information on the internet, nor do they critically analyse information and attempt to verify its accuracy or examine alternate views.

This question is to be answered after your critical analysis is completed: Which sections (if any) of your critical analysis was this paper cited in?