Przeszłość Demograficzna Polski (Jan 2016)

Metoda badania wiarygodności masowych źródeł historycznych, baz danych i opracowań badawczych

  • Konrad Wnęk

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 38


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The article presents the idea of applying Benford’s law to check the reliability of historical sources of mass character and to detect possible adulterations that could appear in scientific studies containing large amounts of numerical data. In order to verify the feasibility of implementation in historical research, the analysis has been based on one historical source, two research studies and one database. As a result of the tests, statistical material was collected and then compared with the Benford distribution for the leading number. The possibility of conducting internal criticism of mass sources was confirmed and synthetic measures were proposed as a tool for verifying the reliability of sources, in which many numerical data are present.