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Blog Resources: Researching the Research, Finding the Facts, and Seeking Supporting Evidence

Blog Resources by Lorelle on WordPressAs part of my ongoing series on blog resources, covering the many online resources I use to help me blog, you can tell that I don’t deal with rumors or guesses. I like facts. I don’t mind a few estimates, but I like being right when I make a claim or statement, so I work hard to find backup supporting evidence to support what I write.

Here are some of the resources I’ve bookmarked to help me find the research material, facts, and supporting evidence for my blog writing. Your list may be different because of the topics you cover. Mine relates specifically to blogging, blog writing, and WordPress, and a few other blog-related topics.

Is It Fact Or Fiction

Hoax image of flowers on the moon copyright Lorelle VanFossenBefore you publish it on your blog or forward that email, check to make sure you are publishing and forwarding facts not fiction. Too many people are easily swayed by information published online, taking it for truth when it could be total fabrication.

Check first. Check sources. Check facts. Then publish.

I wrote about this in Finding Conspiracy Blogs… and The Truth and Web Browser Guide: Scams, Hoaxes, Rumor Mills, and Online Trash – Check the Facts, which includes tips and information on how to verify the fact or the fiction.

Here are some hoax and scam checking resources and articles.

Chasing the News

graphic of news copyright Lorelle VanFossenI often need to reference a news story or some news reference about a subject I’m blogging about such as copyright, libel, equal access and accessibility, and such. I also like to check in on the local news for an area I’m traveling to, especially one I will be speaking in, so I can reference a few local tidbits of news and gossip to let them know I’m keeping track of them.

I use several resources for tracking down newspapers, magazines, and news beyond typical online resources. U.S. News Archives on the Web lists online versions of newspapers across the United States in alphabetical order. News Directory allows searching and browsing by country, region, subject, and type.

Other newspaper and media contacts and resources include:

Facts and Statistics

Making claims on statistics and global facts in my blog posts, I try to find the evidence before staking my claim. Here are some of the US and world governments, scientific, Internet, and other official resources I use to research my claims.

Guide to Internet Statistics and Research is an amazing resource of links to all types of Internet statistics, research information and details, datamining, and more.

Data Mining is one of my favorite sites as they do a lot of the research into web and social statistics so I don’t have to. Their articles offer indepth research analysis and visualization of the statistics so they are understandable for anyone.

US State Department LogoUS Government – Facts and Figures About Your Community offers a wide range of facts and statistics such as Agriculture and Food, Environment and Energy, Facts About the United States, Science and Technology, and U.S. and the World. There are some interesting facts you can find that may help you write blog posts such as the Environment Where You Live, Ocean Tracker, Gasoline Prices for U.S. Cities, Find Airlines with Best On-Time Records, Airline Taxi Times and Other Facts, How Much Does the US Spend on Research and Development?, Internet Access in US Public Schools, and the Digital Divide, tracking how many Americans own and use computers and telephones.

When I write about money, I use the popular Universal Currency Converter to convert money across borders when I need to help my readers understand that a million US dollars equals 690,560,000 EUR. Well, at least it did yesterday.

Some other resources for global facts, figures, and statistics include:

General US Government Facts, Figures, and Statistics

Subject-Specific US Government Facts, Figures, and Statistics

United Nations logoGlobal and International Government Facts, Figures, and Statistics

Maps: Where is It?

If I’m going to write about a geographical location, I need to know where it is and what’s near it and in it. I use Google Maps and sometimes, Yahoo! Maps, but I also use some other map and geographical sites:

Researching the Laws

justice scales graphicIf you need to find a law to back up what you are writing, then you need to research the laws. My research is usually confined to US and some international law issues over copyright, plagiarism, GPL, freedom of speech, and more blog related laws. Some of my law resources include:

General US Law

Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Licensing

International Law

Internet Statistics, Facts, and Figures

There are a lot of people who claim to have the facts and figures on Internet traffic and statistics, but I’ve found many of them are quickly out-of-date and not verifiable. The following resources are fairly consistent and supported with good documentation and research for reporting on Internet statistics, facts, and figures. If they don’t have the information on their site, I’ll call or email them for specifics. It helps to know where to turn to when you need the information for your blog writing.

Medical Terminology and References

medical symbol graphicI do a lot of work with the disabled and blog about web standards for accessibility, which takes me full-tilt into names of medical problems dealing with eyesight, hearing, and the disabled.

Not all medical information posted online is valid nor clinically verifiable, so I often refer to the guidelines on Medical Library Association – A User’s Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web.

I use the following resources to look up and reference medical terminology and anatomical descriptions.

Historically Speaking

Old English doily graphic copyright Lorelle VanFossenIf you are going to make a reference to a historical event or person, it helps to get your facts right. The Best of History is a site for educators, especially for those in the K-12 system, but I love it for its quick references to historical events which helps me fact check my writing references to history. It’s a portal site with links to a ton of websites specializing in the different areas of history. It also features websites with public domain free digital images, photographs and artwork from throughout history.

Repositories of Primary Sources lists over 5000 sites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary research sources. If I’m really digging into history, this site helps me track down very elusive material.

Not all historical reference websites cover the same parts of history, so I also use:

In the next blogging resources article in this series, I’ll cover business and professional online resources for blogger and writers that I’ve found and use frequently.

Blog Resources Article Series



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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

9 Comments

  1. Matt
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Wow, what a great resource you’ve put up here. Thanks!

  2. Posted March 12, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Thank you for a great list of resources. I am a big believer in verifying information before passing it along to others. After many e-mails outlining everything from virus threats to attacks by individuals being initiated into gangs, I started on a crusade to educate family members. The end result was reducing the garbage in my in-box significantly.

    Writing a blog comes with a certain amount of responsibility to not add to misinformation that’s out there. It is getting more and more challenging to track down factual information because there is so much out there that is plain lies. Thank goodness for the sites dedicated to setting the record straight.

  3. Posted March 12, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Excellent list of resources, I’m definitely going to include it on my random thoughts post in a few days.

  4. Posted March 12, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I would be extremely cautious using any US Government health and safety website due to the politicization of scientific information in the past 8 years. It really is no longer reliable.

  5. Adam
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Thats a huge list with tons of data. Thanks for putting it up. I wonder where I can find some fitness related info here.

  6. Posted March 13, 2008 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    How do you go about obtaining quotes from experts in what you are writing? I always see magazines quote authors and experts. I find it very hard to find the right person to get a quote.

  7. Posted March 13, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    @ Anna:

    Bloggers quote experts from what they say on their blogs, which if used within Fair Use and clearly designated as a quote with a linking citation, is good enough and needs no permission.

    There are many sites that offer access to experts, usually for a fee, but I find that if I’m hunting for an expert, I hit the search engines and find the expert there. I contact them through whatever means they offer and hopefully, they will respond.

    It’s not hard to find someone to quote. It’s often hard to get them to say anything worth quoting. :D

  8. Posted March 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Lorelle…What a treasure trove! I am definitely bookmarking this post so I can come back and bookmark some of these links! :)

  9. Posted March 15, 2008 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    awesome.. thanx…
    gp in montana


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