The second strategy after tracing previous fact-finding work is to “go upstream” especially in cases where articles are reporting on other reporting. Upstream means going to the source.
- Primary source
- A primary source provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, audio and video recordings, speeches, and art objects. Interviews, surveys, fieldwork, and Internet communications via email, blogs, listservs, and newsgroups are also primary sources. In the natural and social sciences, primary sources are often empirical studies—research where an experiment was performed or a direct observation was made. The results of empirical studies are typically found in scholarly articles or papers delivered at conferences.
- Secondary source
- Secondary sources describe, discuss, interpret, comment upon, analyze, evaluate, summarize, and process primary sources. Secondary source materials can be articles in newspapers or popular magazines, book or movie reviews, or articles found in scholarly journals that discuss or evaluate someone else’s original research.
Track the original source of reporting.
Another useful strategy is to go upstream and check the original source of the reporting.
Read part 3, Go upstream, of Caulfield, M. A. (2017). Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers.
- Go upstream to find the source
- Identifying sponsored content
- Understanding syndication
- Tracking the source of viral content
- Tracking the source of viral photos
- Using Google reverse image search
- Filtering by time and place
Activity - sponsored content
Activity - trace viral photos upstream
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- Ithaca College Library. (n.d.) Primary and secondary sources
- Caulfield, M. A. (2017). Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers