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Remember your ABCDs
Graphic by Paige Dhyne, Science Librarian at Furman University. CC-BY-ND-SA license.
Consider the following as well...
- Does the writer have a background in the content they are writing about?
- Are they a science writer?
- Do they have the education necessary to write about this topic for a general audience?
- Do they write about this topic often?
- Can you Google the author's name and find more about their writing or their credentials?
- Does the website claim an "editorial point of view"?
- Can you find information about who sponsors the site?
- Is there an "About Us" or "Learn More" section on the site?
- Does the writing seem to be crafted using sensationalist, derogatory, or hyperbolic language?
- Does the writer use expletives or "nicknames" for opposing political parties?
- Does the writing cite information in a works cited?
- Does the writing hyperlink out to original scientific research?
- Does the writing hyperlink to other articles from the same author or website?
- How often does the website and its writers produce content on this topic?
- Is this a topic they've covered historically?
- Websites are subject to change quickly: is there a version history or updates made to the page if its a year or so old?
Google can be a great resource for finding overviews, reports, and government information. But a basic Google search is going to bring back a lot of biased junk, conspiracy theories, and more. Search Google smarter by using the advanced tricks below to limit sites, domains, remove keywords, specify dates, and more.