How to recognize Good Science

compiled by Dr. Douglas Duncan and his students at the

University of Colorado

  web or other sites:

  1. Should be logical, based on facts and data, not just opinions.

  2. Clear references are given so that you can look up data and check that statements are accurate.

  3. Information has been published in peer reviewed (checked by other scientists before publication) journals.

  4. Contrary information is given when it exists, not just information supporting an idea or theory.

  5. What is not known is identified.

  6. Should be repeatable/ have a large enough sample size

  7. If humans are involved, should be "blind" to allow for conscious or unconscious bias

If a claim is extraordinary, it demands extraordinarily strong evidence. - Carl Sagan


  Two special good sites for reliable information about important topics:


  1. The National Academies (independent organization of several hundred of the country's best scientists). Publishes understandable articles about topics of high public interest.

  2. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS: The worlds largest general scientific society, with  many thousands of members). Also publishes the scientific consensus about topics important to the public.