A good fact checking service will write with neutral wording and will provide unbiased sources to support their claims. Look for these two simple criteria when hunting for the facts. Listed below you will find the most trusted fact checking websites:

*This is a no-ads, nonpartisan, independent, not-for-profit website that aims to reduce the level of deception and misinformation.

A good fact checking service will write with neutral wording and will provide unbiased sources to support their claims. Look for these two simple criteria when hunting for the facts. Listed below you will find the most trusted fact checking websites:

Politifact– PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida.  Politifact is simply the best source for political fact checking.  Won the Pulitzer Prize.

Fact CheckFactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.  Fact Check is similar to Politifact in their coverage and they provide excellent details.  The only drawback is they lack the simplicity of Politifact.

Open Secrets– Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.  Open Secrets are by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money.  They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Snopes– Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time.  Snopes is also usually the first to report the facts.

The Sunlight Foundation– The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.  Sunlight primarily focuses on money’s role in politics.

Poynter Institute– The Poynter Institute is not a true fact checking service.  They are however a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence based content.  If Poynter reports it, you can count on it being true.

Flack Check– Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FlackCheck.org is the political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.

Truth or Fiction– Very similar to Snopes. They tend to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Hoax Slayer– Another service that debunks or validates internet rumors and hoaxes.

Fact Checker by the Washington Post– The Washington Post has a very clear left-center bias and this is reflected in their fact checks.  Their fact checks are excellent and sourced; however their bias is reflected in the fact that they fact check right wing claims more than left.  Otherwise the Washington Post is a good resource.

Fact Checking Newspapers, Radio, Television and Internet Programs

Every day we are bombarded with information from newspapers, radio, television and internet programs. Making sense of it all can be very difficult.

What should be taken seriously? How do we know what to believe?

Fox News explains why the U.S. is having less success with Solar Power than Germany. According to Fox News, it’s because Germany gets more sun.

Some “News” sites and television channels have disclaimers declaring that its programming is “for entertainment purposes only” in order to shield the networks from possible legal liabilities. Below is a link to a “News” channel’s on-line disclaimer declaring that its programming is “for entertainment purposes only.” This disclaimer does not appear during their “News” shows. This disclaimer appears on their website only.

http://www.foxnews.com/about/terms-of-use/ – Fox News Network, LLC Terms of Use Agreement – Description of Company Services and Acceptance of Terms of Use Including Arbitration of Disputes – “. . . Company furnishes the Company Sites and the Company Services for your personal enjoyment and entertainment /only/. . .”

Fact checking newspapers, radio, television and internet programs has never been more important.

Science in the “News” – Peer review can help you make sense of science stories.

There is a system used by scientists to decide which research results should be published in a scientific journal. This system, called peer review, subjects scientific research papers to independent scrutiny by other qualified scientific experts (peers) before they are made public. Peer review can help you make sense of science stories as it tells you that there search has passed the scrutiny of other scientists and is considered valid, significant and original. Peer review means that statements made by scientists in scientific journals are critically different from other kinds of statements or claims, such as those made by politicians, newspaper columnists or campaign groups. Science is therefore more than just another opinion.

When a researcher, or team of researchers, finishes a stage of work, they usually write a paper presenting their methods, findings and conclusions. They then send the paper to a scientific journal to be considered for publication. If the journal’s editor thinks it is suitable for their journal they send the paper to other scientists who research and publish in the same field asking them to:

•Comment on its validity – are the research results credible; are the design and methodology appropriate?

•Judge the significance – is it an important finding?

•Determine its originality – are the results new? Does the paper refer properly to work done by others?

•Give an opinion as to whether the paper should be published, improved or rejected (usually to be submitted elsewhere).

This process is called peer review. The scientists (peers) assessing the papers are called referees or reviewers.

Scientists never draw firm conclusions from just one paper or set of results. They consider the contribution it makes in the context of other work and their own experience. It usually takes more than one research paper for results to be seen as good evidence or accepted as a public truth.

There are two basic ways to tell if a journal article is peer-reviewed:

1) Limit your search results to peer-reviewed content. Many databases have this option, usually by checking a box. For example, you can limit your results to “Scholarly materials, including peer-reviewed” before you search using Advanced Search.

2) Check Ulrichsweb to see if the journal that published the article is peer-reviewed. Search for a journal by the name of the journal or its ISSN in Ulrichsweb, and look for the referee jersey logo.

Librarians, faculty, students and patrons in subscribing libraries use Ulrichsweb.com for many purposes. Ulrichsweb.com is used by librarians who work in all facets of librarianship including collection development, selection, acquisitions, reference, research and electronic resource management. Library patrons rely on Ulrichsweb.com to make serials search and discovery easy and effective, and Ulrichsweb.com brings them in-depth information on serials in more than 900 subject areas. Researchers in all disciplines rely on Ulrichsweb.com to help them identify periodicals in which to publish or which support their research interests, and they can easily determine whether journals and other serials they identify are held by their own library, are available via Open Access, or are serviced by document suppliers. Ulrichsweb.com is often a key component in an academic library’s bibliographic instruction programs because it can be used to identify peer-reviewed journals and other academic and scholarly resources. If there is a need for serials information at your library, Ulrichsweb.com can help!

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