Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Information Literacy for the Mother to Be

There's a lot of information out there on birth and parenting - it can be challenging to decipher what exactly is "good information". I am not an expert in information literacy, but I have taken a university level course in information literacy and I have also incorporated elements of information literacy into a countinuing education course that I occassionally teach. I think most moms might benefit from considering the following when assessing the information that they encounter:

#1. What are the qualifications of the author to write on the subject matter at hand?

#2. Does the author have an agenda - are they trying to sell you something?

#3. Does the author cite credible sources for the information they are providing? If the author is citing a scientific journal - what year was it published, is the journal "peer reviewed", what was the sample size (hint large sample sizes are to be preferred over anecdotal evidence)? Are the citations other opinion pieces?

#4. How does the information you are encountering fit into your own context?

#5. Is the author writing about a personal experience or an opinion?

#6. Are there other information sources that contradict the information source being considered? How do they compare?

#7. Is the author transparent about how they came to their conclusions and is the evidence consistent with the conclusion that was arrived at?

#8. Is the author being misleading? Is there relevant information that has been omitted? What are the author's biases?

I trust my readers are adults who are capable of assessing the information I provide on this blog. I also trust, that they know that I'm not a medical professional (6 years of university training - none of it in a 'medical field') and any medical decisions they make should be discussed with their own doctors in light of their own circumstances after a careful consideration of the information available. The thoughts and ideas presented here, are my own.

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