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Some Questions to ask:
- Where did this information come from?
- Is the author an expert in the subject?
- Does the author/publication cite its sources?
- Compare the information given to information in other similar sources, including the sources it cites.
- Does the author or the publisher have an 'axe to grind,' i.e. a bias?
- Is the source (author and/or publication) positively regarded?
- Is the information out of date?
- Is this the information I need?
"Evaluating Sources" from Perdue's Online Writing Lab
"How to Spot Fake News" IFLA infographic based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article
Which Side are They On?
Different news outlets-- and different subject area publications-- address a topic in different ways. In some cases, that is due to ideological leanings (usually of their target readership)-- in other, it's due to the very nature of the subject. Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, English Teacher, the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, and Nature will all address a concept in different ways.
"Here's How Liberal Or Conservative Major News Sources Really Are"
This article includes charts and data on the political leanings of the *readers* of particular news sources, as identified by a report from the Pew Charitable Trust. The charts are handy-- but follow the link back to the report and ask yourself whether the headline is misleading?
The information to the left is based on what is called a "CRAPP" analysis, where the user looks at various aspects of the work in front of them to evaluate it.
However, most successful fact checkers do what has been dubbed: 'horizontal fact checking"-- looking for other sources, preferably trusted ones, that cover the same material and check to see if the information lines up. Like science, the best research is reproducible. (Though watch carefully fo sources that all may be referencing the same original source!)
Snopes is the "definitive fact-checking site" and urban myth site. Editors painstakingly track down and verify sources of information to confirm or dispell the internet rumors people send in. It also posts news-- so use the Fact Check section to find their methodical analyses.
When reading Snopes, note the sources that are referenced, including people and publications, and the analysis done on the information received.
This project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center posts articles with detailed fact-checking public policy, health, science, and Facebook/internet/online rumors. In particular, take a look at the video on Internet rumors under Viral Spiral (http://www.factcheck.org/hot-topics/ )
"PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics." Staff are from the Tampa Bay Times, owned by the Poynter Institute. Politifact's most famous feature is the Truth-o-meter. Pay careful attention to the analysis of information the Politifact journalists use-- this is often a source of disagreement with them.
"Top 10 sites to help students check their facts"
This list, from the International Society for Technology in Education, includes other fact-checking websites.
Questions? Need Help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew University Library, http://www.drew.edu/library