Search engines are the most-used tools for finding content for infographics, blog posts, and research papers. However, while the internet is full of interesting facts and statistics, it’s important that the content you’re using comes from a credible source. When you introduce your topic, you will need to back up your stance with verifiable information.
Here are some ideas for finding reliable content:
- Know where it came from — If someone is using statistics or information from an unnamed study, there is a good chance the statistics aren’t accurate. Do your homework to find the study in question and other research related to the topic. Be sure to look at the sample size and who conducted the study to determine if the results may be inconclusive or contain a bias. If possible, cite many studies on the topic in question and make sure that their conclusions don’t contradict.
- Use government websites and information — A lot of government websites and programs do their own research on certain topics. If the subject of your content falls under a government branch or program, look for government-sanctioned studies to reference.
- Don’t use old content — Be sure to use recent information. New studies are being conducted all the time. If you find information from a study that was conducted a decade ago, there’s a chance the information won’t be applicable anymore. Using information that isn’t relevant is not only misleading for your readers, but can also be embarrassing when someone points it out. Save yourself and your company trouble by making sure the information you’re using is up-to-date.
- Cite your content — When you write your content, make sure that your readers can trace the source of your information by citing it. If you don’t feel comfortable citing the source, move on.
While finding credible information may take some effort, it can boost your company’s reputation and help you stand out on the internet.