While many Hubbers pull exclusively from areas of personal expertise when writing Hubs, most Hubbers utilize information from external sources. But… are those sources legitimate?

In this week’s podcast (Responsible Research Tips), we outline some basic tips on finding trustworthy sources when doing research for Hubs and other online articles, as requested by the ever fabulous Amy Douglas Gillie on our Facebook page.

The gist is this:

  • Get as close to trustworthy- that is, reputable and vetted- sources as possible.
  • Err in favor of educational (.edu), governmental (.gov), and scholarly sites and articles whenever possible.
  • Utilize scholarly add-ons in search engines (such as Google Scholar) and search engines for scholarly articles (such as LexisNexis) to find trustworthy information.
  • Acknowledge that scientific studies do not necessarily indicate conclusive results (and that there may very well be conflicting suggestions reached by other studies).
  • Be aware that articles from (reputable, well-known) news sites are OK, to a point.
  • Do not trust information on random websites or articles written by un-vetted, non-expert authors (that includes bloggers and, yes, Hubbers).
  • Share your sources with your readers

Most of our advice is common sense, but even the best online writers find themselves getting sloppy from time to time. All you have to do is keep your wits about you and make sure you’re carefully vetting source information before incorporating it into your Hubs.

Thanks for the great topic, Amy! If you have any suggestions for future podcast themes, please send them over in email form to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com. We would love to hear from you!

Posted by:HubPages Admin

6 replies on “Responsible Research Tips

  1. In the world dominated by online media, many of us simply relay on Google search and wikipedia. Of course these are handy but we must also tally the information with other similar works.
    When I write content I relay on printed books. Anyone seems to be writing about anything online, but when it comes to print publication, only the scholars get accepted. I find printed materials more trust worthy.

  2. Also try to verify the information from two or more different sources. And I agree that going to published books for sources of scientific or health information is more reliable than random pages on the web. I try to put a list of references at the bottom of my articles (similar to what Wikipedia does).

  3. I was actually adding a number at the end of the sentence with the info and connecting it to a bibliography at the bottom of the hub. I came to realize that no other hubbers were doing this. The postscript numbers are available but never used. I stopped doing it, but a list of references as suggested by BlissfulWriter would make our hubs more credible.

  4. I do use Wikipedia for research, but also use other sites to check the info is the same. I am going to start adding referfences, I think that is a good idea.

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