We define scientific misinformation as publicly available information that is misleading or deceptive relative to the best available scientific evidence and that runs contrary to statements by actors or institutions who adhere to scientific principles. Scientific misinformation violates the supposition that claims should be based on scientific evidence and relevant expertise. As such, misinformation is observable and measurable, but research on scientific misinformation to date has often missed opportunities to clearly articulate units of analysis, to consult with experts, and to look beyond convenient sources of misinformation such as social media content. We outline the ways in which scientific misinformation can be thought of as a disorder of public science, identify its specific types and the ways in which it can be measured, and argue that researchers and public actors should do more to connect measurements of misinformation with measurements of effect.
Defining and measuring scientific misinformation
Southwell, B. G., Brennen, J. S., Paquin, R. S., Boudewyns, V., & Zeng, J. (2022). Defining and measuring scientific misinformation. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 700(1), 98-111. https://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/25073/Southwell%20et%20al.%20%282022%29%20in%20AAAPSS.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y