The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking

Description: This Chicago guide, published in 2016, offers tools and best practices for fact checking across multiple forms of media.

Why I trust it: This guide was published by the same company that publishes the Chicago Manual of Style, and it draws on the expertise of over 200 professional writers, editors, and fact-checkers. The book’s editor, Brooke Borel, is a former research editor at Science Illustrated and a former fact checker at Quanta. She also teaches science communication workshops at New York University.

Use: Use this manual to beef up your fact-checking skills. You’ll find numerous strategies to fact-check across multiple forms of media. You’ll also find, at the end of the book, 20 full pages of references organized by chapter. This allows you to trace the information inside the book to make sure it’s authoritative.

Access: This title is accessible in-library through the University at Albany Libraries’ reference collection under call number ZA3075 .B67 2016. You can also request this title through the New York Public Library, or you can try requesting it through interlibrary loan.

Borel, B. (2016). The Chicago guide to fact-checking. University of Chicago Press.

Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric

Description: This column, based on sound news media principles, is authored by professional fact checker Glenn Kessler and his colleagues Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly. Its goal is to fact check the statements of political figures and weed through political rhetoric. The authors also investigate answers to questions submitted by readers. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: Glenn Kessler is an award-winning journalist whose career spans decades. His fact-checking team analyzes political statements on both the left and right, and they do so without inserting opinion. The column appears in the national-news section of The Post, seperate from the editorial or opinion sections. Also, members of the team are not permitted to engage in partisan political activity or make contributions to candidates or advocacy organizations.

Use: Use this resource to fill in missing context in political statements and get a more comprehensive, unbiased picture of topics mentioned by politicians.

Access: Users can access this column with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Kessler, G. (2020). Fact checker: The truth behind the rhetoric. Washington Post.  

Is it True? A Fake News Database

Description: People send in suspected hoaxes, doctored images, and fake websites. Then, Politico’s team works to determine the truth.

Why I trust it: Politico’s mission is to provide its audience with accurate, nonpartisan information. In 2012, the Poynter Institute found that about the same percentage of Politico readers identify as democrat as do those that identify as republican, so you can bet their investigations are unbiased. Learn more about Politico here.

Use: Reading something you suspect could be fake? Pop keywords into this database to see if it’s been investigated by Politico. If not, visit this link for a submission form.

Access: Users can access this database with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Lima, C & Briz, A. (2018). Is it true? A fake news database. Politico.


Description: This reverse image search engine accesses a multibillion index of web images to determine an image’s origin and locate/track modified versions.

Use: Wondering if that picture is a hoax? Try reverse searching it with TinEye to find its true origin. Learn more about how to use TinEye here.

Access: TinEye is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Reverse image search. (2020). TinEye.

Census Data

Description: Census Data is a government-funded database of community facts—from population data, to school district data, to data on income. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: It’s just the data—plain and simple. Independently reviewing raw data gives information consumers an opportunity to evaluate it without biased commentary.

Use: Fact check news and statements by public figures by popping cited census data into the Census Data search bar to see if it matches or if the article’s language is misleading.

Access: Census Data is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Census Data. (2020). U.S. Census Bureau.


Description: The PolitiFact nonpartisan investigative team rates political statements for accuracy based on independent news expertise and then awards statements a score on a “truthometer.” Learn more about PolitiFact’s methodology here.

Why I trust it: PolitiFact’s core values include: thorough reporting, independence, transparency, and fairness. PolitiFact does not accept donations from political parties, elected officials, candidates seeking public office, or anonymous sources. Learn more about PolitiFact’s financials here.

Use: This organization has been fact-checking since 2007, and it has gained a reputation for unbiased investigation into the truth (or lack thereof) of political statements. Use it to gain some perspective on political entities on all sides. 

Access: Politifact is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Holan, A.D. (2020). PolitiFact. The Poynter Institute.