The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Reading Research

Some things to keep in mind...

Studies that don’t show any effect tend not to get published and certainly don’t become the subject of media interest: (what’s the story if a study suggests that time spent watching the television or playing computer games doesn’t damage your child?) So research that highlights detrimental effects tends to get published, rather than studies which show no change.

A further problem is that it’s difficult to interpret some studies – particularly if the original research is published in an academic journal and inaccessible to the general reader.  Where possible, we’ve listed links to the original research for those interested in following it up.

Standards differ across academic publications. Some journals are far more scrupulous about checking the data and that the conclusions follow on from the data.

Not all research is entirely impartial.  It's important to find out who has sponsored the research? Was there a motive for conducting the research?

In the case of the research reviews in the Parent Portal we can clearly state that they have been commissioned by the Children's Media Foundation.  Our mission is to broaden understanding of the kids' media landscape, and to encourage a more measured view of the issues.  So you might consider that our emphasis will be to avoid extremes in our choice of research studies to review.

However, we have ensured that the reviews are conducted independently by the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, who have many years of collective experience of conducting research and assessing the work of other academics.


The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)