Cool Toys Pic of the day – Health News Rater

Screen_shot_2012-01-11_at_3

Health News Rater:
http://healthnewsrater.com/

Health News Rater is pretty much brand new, hot off the press, today.
It is a slick idea, but of course it remains to be seen how well it
will work out in practice.

The idea is that health information in the news media varies
tremendously in quality. People can contribute articles (there aren’t
very many yet), and provide information about a few highly selective
factors that can help make for better reporting on health research:

“The story is related to human health
The story provides a link to the original research article.
The story describes the study design
The story reports the funding agency who paid for the study.
The story reports potential financial incentives the authors had to publish.
The story reports the sample size
The story reports the organism studied”

Submitting a new story is easy, except (duh) you have to have read it
and be prepared to answer questions about it. I wish it allowed
reviewers to add comments. It shows the score when you are done, but
doesn’t show which article you were reviewing. This could be very
helpful for assignments if it did display a brief citation (URL and
title?) with the score.

While the service does let you search, the search is pretty minimal.
You cannot search by title or publication or author or topic, but
instead can only search by URL. The URL must match exactly that in the
database. I suspect, given that many publications generate unique URLs
for new visitors, that this will make the search relatively useless.
If you do happen to find an article in their database, it tells you
the score.

So, in my eyes, great idea, not well implemented. I hope to see them
continue to develop the resource, and look forward to seeing it
hopefully become more useful as people add their reviews.

“Help us rate health news reporting with citizen-science powered
http://www.healthnewsrater.com
http://simplystatistics.tumblr.com/post/15669033251/healthnewsrater

If you are a teacher working with students, this could make an
interesting assignment, both to have students do reviews and print
their scores off, and also to try to have students write an
interesting article that uses the specified criteria.

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One thought on “Cool Toys Pic of the day – Health News Rater

  1. Thanks for the write-up and the publicity! We would love to get teachers and students involved in the process. Our goal is part data collection and part educational. We are statisticians and total amateurs when it comes to web-development. We’d love to implement some of the ideas you suggested (all good ones and things we wish we could do) so if there is anyone with some web hacking skills out there that wants to help out, we’d love to get you involved!

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