In Extension we pride ourselves in having a solid research base to the information that we share with the public. But how does the public know that what we publish or present has a research base? And, how do we assure them that the research base we have utilized is valid?
At Fall Conference, I was quizzing one of my colleagues about how to write up a Likert-like scale within a journal article….anyway, even though it was a great conversation, the colleague suggested that I “Google It!”. Now, I admit, I am a fan of “Googling It”…but we need to remember that you have to have a solid knowledge base in the topic in order to make sure that the Google results are indeed valid. In other words, I believe that a part of being an extension professional is to review research in our field with a critical eye.
Now I can’t tell you exactly how I got into this conversation at my house over Thanksgiving…the routes of household conversations are meandering and barely traceable….but we were discussing if all nations had a national animal. So we “Googled It”. Here are the results for Scotland. My critical eye thinks that this may not be correct information…but then again, national animals (and whether they have to be real) are not my area of study. 🙂