Thursday, May 14, 2020

Google picking

  • P-hacking is fishing around in data until you find a "significant" p-value so you can find an exciting claim, publish your paper and get tenure
  • Let's define Google-picking as trying out different Google searches until you find a result that says what you want it to say
  • To deal with issues like P-hacking, some institutions now require publication of all experiments and analysis performed or pre-registration of the proposed studies
  • If someone cites an obscure internet result to support their claim, they could be suspected of Google picking and should be required to "publish" what searches they performed
  • In all cases, the claim needs to be evaluated on it's own merit (and one's own searches) regardless of how the data backing it was discovered

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