In Australia universities and government websites tend to be very reliable resources. However as the saying goes “Take everything you read online with a grain of salt”.
Conduct thorough analysis. To many this is the key problem. In an age of click bait, fast sharing, and viral uploads, doing due diligence can be hard.
Many people find they don’t have the time to take a deep dive onto a topic and simply take what is presented online as fact. Others do take a deep-dive, but may be looking for information from non-credible sources.
It is important to note that the public in some countries has recently lost trust with traditional media platforms, causing them to look for information from alternate means.
Traditional media is now being viewed by many as censored and biased.
Some tips to making sure you find credible information are as follows:
- Specify your search
- Look for primary sources
- Double Check: Back-research facts before you take them as truth. Do similar academic sources back-up said information?
- Apply analysis: To the author and publishers credibility. EG are they using Pseudonyms, is this a BOT? Has this publisher / author got a credible history?
- Try and find related media: pictures, images, statistics, court documents, government institutional documents or government public information. Is this footage/ photo relevant? Is it real? Is it related?
- Is this peer reviewed: Has it been reviewed or assessed by professionals in that field?
- Look for objectivity: Is this source trying to sell me a particular narrative? Is there “spin”? Is this an opinion piece?
- Try remove personal bias: Am I cherry-picking information based on my own personal beliefs?
Credible online research outlets:
United Nations statistics:
State library of Victoria:
State library of NSW:
Hansard: The Literal verbatim of what is said in Australian parliament by politicians is recorded into hansard in real time.
https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/HansardCourt documents –
Supreme Court NSW:
Supreme Court Victoria:
Finance: Publicly listed companies in Australia are obliged to make note of any changes to the company that may affect share-holders. Meetings can be viewd as such
When sharing information it is best not to jump to conclusions. Removing personal bias and personal prejudice is incredibly hard, but should be encouraged. Looking for online sources can be time-consuming, but if you are after a more accurate picture than perhaps a small time investment can be worthwhile.
In an age of complex ideas such as; climate science, pandemics, politics, space exploration, famine, war, economics, finance, technology, conservation, agriculture, history, ethics…. the list goes on. It is impossible to say resolutely that there is one sole source of ‘truth’.