Q: A lot of times we get technical information in forums, online lecture notes, research papers. why do I trust some more than others?
- printed books and magazines — receive the most scrutiny because once printed, mistakes are harder to correct. Due to this fundamental reason, there is usually more scrutiny.
- research papers — receive a lot of expert peer review and most stringent editorial scrutiny, esp. in a top journal and top conference
- college lecture notes — are more “serious” than forums,
- mostly due to the consequence of misinforming students.
- When deciding what to include in lecture notes, many professors are conservative and prudent when adding less established, less proven research findings. The professor may mention those findings verbally but more prudent about her posted lecture notes.
- research students ask lots of curious questions and serve as a semi-professional scrutiny of the lecture notes
- lecture notes are usually written by PhD holders
- Stackoverlow and Quora — have a quality control via voting by accredited members.
- the average forum — Least reliable.