Przeszłość Demograficzna Polski

Poland's Demographic Past

ISSN: 0079-7189    OAI    DOI: 10.18276/pdp.2016.4.38-05

Issue archive / 38, 2016, nr 4
Metoda badania wiarygodności masowych źródeł historycznych, baz danych i opracowań badawczych
(Method of testing the reliability of mass historical sources, databases and research studies)

Authors: Konrad Wnęk
Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Historyczny
Keywords: Benford’s law databases historical demography mass research criticism of historical sources
Year of publication:2016
Page range:16 (119-134)
Cited-by (Crossref) ?:
Downloads ?: 310


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.
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