Reliability of Information

If I were a character in a novel I would work at a think tank in a log structure in the mountains and would wear glasses that connect to the internet and flash a virtual keyboard in front of me with a voice command. And I would have a satellite phone with a secure line. And I would be really cute and tall.

Think tanks are not just plot elements in novels or adventure fantasy. They are potential research sources.

I received an email today from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. The email shared an interesting report titled Housing Affordability and the Standard of Living in Calgary. The full report is available on the site and appears (after a very rush review) well written and has all the indicia of a citable source:

  • charts and graphs with data source attribution
  • endnotes with a consistent citation style
  • hyperlinks to recognizable URLs
  • an executive summary
  • it is long(ish) at 74 pages

My questions for Slawyers: for statistics rich information or comparative data, when is it reasonable to use information from an indirect source? If I were looking at this document to support a legal research project, is a concise well crafted report from an unrelated body found on the web as reliable as a published journal article?

Have we passed the tipping point where information that is available to the casual browser that is from a reasonable source worthy of citation to the courts?

Source: Slaw Legal Information

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