December 08, 2004

Simply calling something "Research" isn't good enough

An article in Wired News - Florida E-Vote Study Debunked - points out that serious research must be done in a responsible fashion.

"A study by Berkeley grad students and a professor showing anomalies with electronic-voting machines in Florida has been debunked by numerous academics who say the students used a faulty equation to reach their results and should never have released the study before getting it peer-reviewed."

"If I were to get this article as (an academic) reviewer, I would turn it around and say they were fishing to find a result," Stewart said. "I know of no theory or no prior set of intuitions that would have led me to run the analysis they ran."

1 comment:

Ron said...

Yes, but because the research in question was done by people who hold themselves to certain standards, there's a good chance that their research will be examined and assessed (and in this case, found wanting).

In the world of usability, few "researchers" are even aware of such standards much less expect to be held to them. This results not only in useless "research" but in useless quests for knowledge.