I like option #2. The idea is to compare and contrast multiple studies about the same subject and then critically asses the methodology and what weaknesses there are in each study. In this type of research your typically looking at peer reviewed articles that have been published in a journal in that field.
Also after an article is published its important to look at where its been cited and for what. What did other professionals think of the work? Basically, never take any single research paper at face value.
Also, If a cancer research article can only get published in popular mechanics, be very suspicious of the work.
To be taken for something more than an opinion the article would have to have data to back it up and cite references.
If your going after peer reviewed research, I dont think an opinion piece does it. Is the author guilty of the same issue he accuses the researchers of, getting the result he is looking for? Without peer review and cited references its credibility is well below the research work he accuses of being biased.
This does not mean he is not onto something, but I dont see a lot to back his work up.
To get a better perspective do a search for follow-on articles that analyze the authors conclusions.
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