“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston

Fact-checking sites



"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't." ~ Bill Nye

"The web is kind of a self-cleaning oven and what you have up there can grow more accurate as time goes by. That's never true of print. It's always there for the ages." ~ David Carr: The News Diet Of A Media Omnivore

Radio Locator (great website for finding radio stations near a certain zip code -- and other variables)

Time of day? U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock hotline (with various ways of translating it into your time, U.S. time)

Maps That Changed the World. Peter Barber, head of maps collections at the British Library, shows ten of the greatest maps, from the USSR's Be On Guard! map (1921) to the London Tube Map (1933) to Google Earth. Fascinating.


Media Myth Alert. Joseph Campbell's blog sums up myths reported in his book Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. Tom Ashbrook interviews Campbell about the myths on NPR's radio program On the Point: When the Media Got It Wrong.


Odds and Ends


Quick Links

Find Authors

Great search links



Library sites and portals

Libraries and Libraries of the world: Writers and editors love you. We know that librarians are among the best (most helpful) researchers in the world, and many library systems are excellent portals to whole other research worlds. I will add more links here as time allows; here's a start:
• WorldCat (world's largest library catalog, a global catalog of library collections, containing the complete listings of 72,000 libraries around the world)
• Hathi Trust Digital Library (a free public database, from a consortium of academic & research institutions, offering millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world)
The British Library, tremendous resources, including a sizable online gallery
• Ask a Librarian (online reference service with librarians at the Library of Congress). Your local library may also offer an Ask a Librarian service (by phone or email).
• Project Wombat, a discussion list for difficult reference questions, continuing in the tradition of the now-defunct Stumpers list--fueled by research librarians (who get obsessed with a search) helping other research librarians who are stumped. For trivia lovers, get a copy of Stumpers!: Answers to Hundreds of Questions that Stumped the Experts, edited by Fred Shapiro.
• Federal Depository libraries. See Federal Depository Library Directory and searchable catalog of U.S. government publications
• Internet Public Library (IPL). Find resources by subject, newspapers and magazines, special collections, material for kids and for teens. Also known as Librarians' Internet Index .(Is it accurate to say this is a library,run by trained librarians?)
• Jacksonville Public Library (good general links)
• Librarian Chick (Stacy Reed's fab site)
• Libraries on the Web (LibWeb, US public libraries). Use interlibrary loan if you find what you need
• Library Spot (gateway to many excellent library and reference sites), sister site to Homework Spot
•••• Library of Congress (LOC). Online reference materials, digitized collections, photos, films, poems, the works--our nation's library)
• Library of Congress Online Catalog
• Library of Congress American Memory Collection (old motion pictures, Coca Cola ads, etc.)
• ArchiveGrid (a database containing 1.7 million descriptions of archival collections from all over the world--historical documents, personal papers, manuscripts and family histories, described and cataloged by librarians and archivists)
• Columbia Center for Oral History (Columbia University's “living archive” of more than 8,000 aural and visual interviews that explore diverse topics in United States and global history)
• Oral history collections, online (Telling Your Story, Pat McNees site)
• Musings about librarianship (ideas librarians might use and others might eavesdrop on!)
• National Agricultural Library (great links and not just agricultural)
• OCLC Global Gateway. The world's libraries. Connected.
• Oxford Reference (combines content of Oxford Reference Online and Oxford Digital Reference Shelf). Subscribers have full access to the site’s two million entries; free resources include more than 300,000 “overview” pages, with definitions of topics and links to more information; 270 timelines, with links to free reference entries; and an online-only section of quotations.
• PubMed (PMC), a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/​NLM). Possibly helpful: PubMed Tutorial
• USDA A-to-Z Index
• U.S. National Library of Medicine Databases & Electronic Resources (National Institutes of Health, NIH/​NLM)
• World Digital Library (scans of original works and images of primary materials from cultures around the world, from ancient Chinese oracle bones to the first European map of the New World, plus photos, films, audio tracks)

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Search Engines, Tools, and Indexes

(Selected)
• Amazon (great information on books, but it has expanded to many other products)
• AOLSearch
• Ask (a/​k/​a Ask.com; see its FAQ
• Baidu (major search engine in China--and in Chinese)
• Best of the Web (BOTW, a human-edited directory, listings paid for but evaluated)
• Bing (a visual search engine from Microsoft)
• boingboing (a directory of wonderful things)
• Dogpile (searches many Web search engines)
** Duck Duck Go ("Search anonymously. Find instantly.") Concerned about privacy issues? Doesn't track your movements as Google does. Click on "Press" (lower left corner) to learn more about it and its founder MIT physics grad Gabriel Weinberg.
• Google (current King of Search Engines, with powerful ranking algorithms and special searches: images, groups, news, maps, shopping, etc.). See How to make the most of Google
• Google Scholar (searches peer-reviewed journals and scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles)
• HighWire (Stanford University, (search engine of articles in peer-reviewed journals, some free, some not)
• Info (top results from Google + Yahoo! search+ bing)
• Infomine (scholarly Internet resource collections, Univ. of California, Riverside)
• Infospace (top results from Google + Yahoo + bing)
• ipl2 (Internet Public Library--find resources by subject, newspapers and magazines, special collections, material for kids and for teens). See FAQs about ipl2
• Invisible Web (UC Berkeley tutorial on the "Deep Web," what you cannot find using using general search engines and subject directories) See also Deep Web (Wikipedia)
• Librarian's Ultimate Guide to Search Engines
• Lycos
• My Web Search
• Online subject guides (AcademicInfo, from Abraham Lincoln to Zoology Societies, Associations, Centers, Institutes and Organizations)
• Open Directory (comprehensive Web directory edited by human volunteers)
• PHYS.org (a news site addressing trending topics in science and medicine, which also posts articles debunking popular rumors--links to sources when it can)
• Safe Search for Kids (a feature of Google Search that acts as an automated filter of pornography and potentially offensive content--but Wikipedia reports that Harvard reports that many innocuous sites are blocked and some pornographic sites slip through using innocent key words)
• Science Daily (has a huge database of articles to search, most of which link to the source journal articles and studies)
• Search Engine Colossus (international search engine -- search in other languages and 310 countries)
• Scirus (for scientific information)
• Snopes (a rumor debunker, which detects if something that has been forwarded or linked to is an urban legend, folklore, myth, rumor, or other misinformation)
• USA.gov (U.S. government's official portal)
• Virtual Reference Shelf (excellent resource, Library of Congress)
• The WWW Virtual Library (the oldest Web catalog)
• Wikipedia (being voluntary, it is not always correct, but you can generally track down information through the sources)
• Yahoo (second only to Google and bing in popularity)
• Yandex (major Russian search engine; search for pages in English, German, French and other European languages.
• Best Free Reference Web Sites Combined Index, 1999-2014 (Reference and User Services, American Library Association). Great links to topic-specific reference sites)
• Best Free Reference Sites 2013, 15th annual list (Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of ALA as with previous entry, but this is a one-year list with different entries in a different order)
• Ditto, 2012
• Ditto, 2011

• Top 15 Most Popular Search Engines (eBiz/​MBA)
• 50 Cool Search Engines for Serious Readers (Online Colleges)

GOOGLE -- Making the most of it
• How Google Works (PPC blog)
• Live Trainings in Better Search Results (recorded webinars)
• Power Searching with Google . To see how handy this site is, take a look at Lesson 4 ญ Image Searching. Did you know you can drag a photograph into the search bar and find out what or where it is and
even its provenance?
• Power Searching with Google Quick Reference
• Google News
• Google News Revamped: This Is Your News, Personalized and Localized (Dan Nosowitz, Fast Company, 7-1-10)
• Google news archive search
• 10 Simple Google Search Tricks (Simon Mackie, NY Times Technology, 4-2-10). These items may become dated as Google changes constantly.
• How to Ghost-Google: Searching Google without Google to Know about You [sic] (SEO Smarty)
• Google Scholar (finds scholarly documents on a subject and citations of such documents in other texts)
• Info ( top results from the World's favorite search engines: Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Yandex)
• Infospace (top results from Googe, Yahoo!, Yandex)
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Archives, online


• Society of American Archivists (SAA), whose many resources include Richard Pearce-Moses's Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology and Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research (by Laura Schmidt)
• ArchiveGrid ("Open the door to history" -- a database containing nearly a million descriptions of archival collections from all over the world, including Historical documents, personal papers, manuscripts)
• C-Span Puts Full Archives on the Web (Brian Stelter, NYTimes, 3-15-10). Find them at C-SpanVideo.org.
• Veterans FAQ about archival military records, veterans' service records, military personnel records
~Archive Finder (brings together ArchivesUSA and the cumulative index to the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the UK and Ireland. Here's a fuller description.
• Virtual Wall, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (look up Vietnam War casualties by name, place, date, and other details--get more info, add a photo, etc.)
• U.S. news archives on the Web (for papers in states from Alabama to the District of Columbia)
• Timelines, archives, family history, genealogical and other historical resources (Telling Your Story, Pat McNees's website)
• Resources for Genealogists (National Archives). Most requested: Military service records, immigration records, naturalization records, passport applications, land records, bankruptcy records.
• Census Records, U.S. National Archives, where you can go to find a huge amount of information (but if you need to do it online, go to ancestry.com or HeritageQuestOnline). See How can I search the Census Records?
•
1940s Census, U.S. (most recent decade released)
(National Archives how-to page)
• National Archives FAQs
• The National Archives (UK) (official govt archives, from Domesday Book to various websites. Here's Getting Started overview
• National Archives of Norway (now in English)
• BYU Family History Archives (Mormons, Family Search)
• Canadian Library and Archives (in English and French)
• GenealogyBank's Historical Newspaper Archives (over 320 years of obituaries, birth, marriages and newspaper articles about other key life events)
• America's historical newspapers (Readex's online database, from 1690 to recent past)
• Documenting the American South (primary resources for the study of Southern history, literature, and culture)
• "Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources" (PDF, Marcus Zillman's Internet Annotated Link Dataset Compilation). Here are a few of the items listed:
~Academic Archive Online (DiVA (full text theses, dissertations, and other publications from Nordic universities)
~Academic Earth (a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give people all over the world access to video courses and lectures from the world's leading scholars)
~Academic Index (Michael Bell's meta-search tool indexes only research-quality reference and information sources selected by prof. librarians and educators)
~Archive Finder (brings together ArchivesUsA and the cumulative index to the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the UK and Ireland--annotations are fuller
~Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) For a full list of academic and scholarly search engines and sources, check this PDF
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Law, politics, geography, and military history


• American Heritage Education Foundation (links to historical content)
• America's Wars (VA fact sheet on total servicemembers, battle deaths, nonmortal woundings)
Campaign Finance Information Center. Tracker, the center's quarterly newsletter, and the website contain stories, tips, tactics, links helpful for tackling complex pieces. Administered by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.(IRE) and the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR).
• Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments (CIA World Factbook)
• CIA World Factbook (rank order pages on such data as population, birth rate, GDP, energy production and consumption, spending, health, transportation, and communications)
• Congressional Record searchable, at Library of Congress online).
• Countries, background on. You can learn a lot about the world's countries in states in various sets of notes, including the U.S. State Department's Background Notes and the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook, online.
• Country Profiles (WIPO)\
• Election Resources (National Archives and Records Administration. See also FAQs (such as Why do we have the electoral college?) and U.S. Voting & Election Resources (many helpful links)
• FactCheck.org (Annenberg sorts political truths from half-truths). See, for example, A Campaign Full of Mediscare, 8-22-12. (Obama and Romney both aim to slow Medicare spending. But each accuses the other of hurting seniors in the process. What are the facts?)
• FindLaw (providing legal information, lawyer profiles, and a community to help you make the best legal decisions (check out Findlaw Answers).
• Law Library of Congress
• OpenSecrets.org (Center for Responsive Politics--advocates for transparency in government, monitoring campaign contributions and lobbying, to measure their possible effect on U.S. elections and public policy)
• PolitiFact.com (nonpartisan political fact checker, whose truth-o-meter ranks findings from "true" to "pants on fire"), St. Petersburg Times service, and here are articles on current issues, events. Get the app!
• Real Clear Politics
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LINKS TO FACT FINDING AND NEWS RESOURCES

Newspapers and other news sources


• **Newsroom Navigator (NY Times list of resources for reporters and editors, great for fact-checking)
• Front Pages (today's plus an archive of front pages from U.S. newspapers from key days such as the inauguration), The Newseum
• Today's Front Pages (check out Newseum's U.S. map -- move your cursor across the map and see the front pages change)
• U.S. news archives on the Web (for papers in states from Alabama to the District of Columbia)
• U.S. newspapers, by state (USNPL, also major news Twitter feeds)
• SmallTownPapers (read free 250 small town newspapers)
• GenealogyBank's Historical Newspaper Archives (over 320 years of obituaries, birth, marriages and newspaper articles about other key life events)
• America's historical newspapers (Readex's online database, from 1690 to recent past)
• Google News
• HealthNewsReview.org rates health and medical news stories (about medical treatments, tests, products and procedures) for accuracy, balance, and completeness
• EurekAlert, sponsored by AAAS, the science society, as a way to disseminate info through reporters to the public. There's a public section, a reporters section, and an embargoed news section (for research appearing in peer-reviewed journals). News is filtered by subject: Agriculture (crops, food, forestry...), Archaelogy (new world, old world), Atmospheric Science (climate, pollution...), Business & Economics (health care, grants...), Chemistry & Physics (energy, atoms, superconductors...), Earth Science (geology, oceanography...), Education (science literacy, K-12, graduate...), Mathematics (models, systems, chaos...), Medicine & Health (cancer, diet, drugs...), Policy & Ethics (patients, treaties, laws...), Social & Behavior (addiction, parenting, mental health...), Space & Planetary (astronomy, comets, space missions...), Technology & Engineering (electronics, Internet, nanotechnology...). And various portals: News for Kids, Marine Science, Nanotechnology, Disease in the Developing World, Bioinformatics, Multi-Language.... And there is a Calendar of events in science (by month).
• Internet Public Library (IPL). Find resources by subject, newspapers and magazines, special collections, material for kids and for teens
• Newslink . See Most-linked-to local news sites by U.S. state
• News Sites (SPJ Journalist's Toolbox)
• Knight Science Tracker (hot science news, peer reviewed by journalists)
• MediaFinder (database of U.S. and Canadian newspapers, magazines, catalogs, newsletters, and journals)
• Newswise (chiefly for journalists). List of Newswise services (Daily Wire, MedWire, SciWire, LifeWire, BizWire)
• Online news (links to various resources)
• Talk to The (New York) Times: Q. and A. With Staff Members
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Investigative Reporting Resources (Padraic Cassidy's great links for investigative journalism--a tutorial on the Web). Some of the sites linked to:
• Five Easy Pieces: The S.E.C. Starter Kit and other tips for checking out companies
• How to Conduct a Historical Investigation
• Newslink
• 7 tips on covering bankruptcy court (Rick Desloge)
• Breaking and Entering: How to dissect an organization (Eric Nalder, Seattle Times)
Many more useful links at that site. See also
• Open Secrets (Center for Responsive Politics), tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. See for example:
---Politicians (to see who is giving how much to specific members of Congress, plus several other categories defining influence on politicians)
Influence and Lobbying (which corporations and industry groups, labor unions, single-issue organizations spend how much to influence political decision-makers).



Weather


• Wunderground (interactive map, excellent radar interface)
• National Weather Service
• Accuweather.com (local video weather reports, etc.)
• Wind Map (this was great during Hurricane Sandy)
Earthquakes in U.S., last 7 days (USGS, and there are many other pages of resources: maps, animations, seismogram displays, etc.). And here's a good explanation of the Mineral VA earthquake of August 23, 2011, Callen Gentley's entry on the AGU Blogosphere.
• Dial a Forecast (NOAA phone numbers for local National Weather Service forecasts in U.S.A.)
• Weather Channel
• WeatherSpark (beta), interactive weather graphs allow you to pan and zoom through entire history of any weather station on earth
• Weather Warehouse. Historical weather data. Want to know if it was raining in a certain year and place?
• Internet Weather Source (U.S. Weather) (NOAA, National Weather Service)
• Plymouth State Weather Center
• Unisys
• Intellicast.com
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Fact-checking sites

Especially handy during presidential debates!

• Charity Navigator (find out if a charity or charitable request is legitimate)
• FactCheck.org (Annenberg's excellent political fact checker)
• PolitiFact.com (nonpartisan political fact checker, whose truth-o-meter ranks findings from "true" to "pants on fire").
• The Fact Checker (Glenn Kessler, Washington Post column, The Truth Behind the Rhetoric).
• Regret the Error (Craig Silverman, on Poynter site, tracks accuracy in media and reports on media corrections, retractions, apologies, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy, honesty in the press, and the art of verification)
• Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) (Challenging media bias and censorship since 1986)
• Accuracy in Media (a conservative citizens' watchdog group for fairness, balance and accuracy in news reporting)
• The Cochrane Collaborative (systematically reviews and evaluates research in health care and health policy)
• Quackwatch (your guide to quackery, health fraud, and intelligent decisions, operated by Stephen Barrett, MD)
• OpenSecrets.org (Center for Responsive Politics--advocates for transparency in government, monitoring campaign contributions and lobbying, to measure their possible effect on U.S. elections and public policy)
• Bad Science (Ben Goldacre's column from The Guardian in weblog format. Covers media misrepresentations of science, especially medicine, by the author of Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
• The Skeptic's Dictionary (exploring strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions since 1994)
• FourMatch (Authenticate images instantly. An extension for Adobe Photoshop that instantly analyzes any open JPEG image to determine whether it is an untouched original from a digital camera. Now, you can quickly identify files that have not previously been edited.)
• On the Issues (every political leader on every issue)
• Tin Eye (Id้e's a reverse image search engine). You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions.
• Miscellaneous research tools (SPJ, Journalists' Toolbox)
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CHECK OUT HOAXES, URBAN LEGENDS, AND E-MAIL SCAMS
E-mail story sound too good or scary to be true? Check to see if it's an urban legend. Several websites are devoted to fact-checking and identifying hoaxes and urban legends. Before you forward that "true fact," e-mail petition, warning, amazing opportunity, or piece of gossip, run it by one of these sites.
• Snopes.com (a practical Internet reference source for detecting urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation)
• Truth or Fiction (another reality check on email hoaxes, rumors, scams, and advisories--to verify the truth or falsity of rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails)
• Verification Junkie (Josh Steams' directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content)
• Is Twitter Wrong? ( public service pedantry hub. run by @​flashboy, who sometimes retweets stuff without fact-checking)
• Quatloos (check out financial scams and fraud)
• Sree's tips on hoaxes
• Current hoaxes and legends (About.com)
• Hoax Busters (verify virus hoaxes, chain e-mails and urban myths)
• How to Determine If A Controversial Statement Is Scientifically True (Alan Henry, Lifehacker, 6-20-12)
• Purportal (freely searchable database of scammy spams)
• The Red Tape Chronicles (Bob Sullivan, MSNBC, looks at Internet scams and consumer fraud)
• Consumerist (a consumer affairs blog, hosted by a division of Consumer Reports)
• Urban legends, fact-checking (Journalist's Toolbox, SPJ, excellent links)
• Symantec Threat Explorer (a comprehensive resource for daily, accurate and up-to-date information on the latest digital threats, risks and vulnerabilities)
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Business, Commerce, and Labor


• Air quality (check out your local air quality, according to the American Lung Association)
• Ars Technica (a technology news and information website that publishes news, reviews and guides on issues such as computer hardware and software, science, technology policy, and video games)
• Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, data on inflation, prices, employment, unemployment, pay & benefits, productivity, workplace injuries, more)
• Business Navigator (NY Times guide to business, financial and investing resources on the Internet)
• Center for Public Integrity
• Consumerist (corporate watchdog site)
• EDGAR (SEC) database. Every domestic public company in the United States with must submit forms and reports to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. EDGAR is the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system the SEC uses to transmit documents to investors. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Possibly helpful:
---EDGAR tutorial
---Important Information about EDGAR
---Researching Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors
---Search the Next-Generation EDGAR System
• FOB (firms out of business) (www.fob-file.com)...a database of publishing, literary and other firms out of business -- that is, printing and publishing firms, magazines, literary agencies and similar organizations that no longer exist -- and, where possible. which successor organizations might own any surviving rights. More
About FOB
, which is run jointly by the Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas, Austin) and University of Reading Library.
• Energy glossary (U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA)
• Hopstop (subway and bus directions for New York City, still being developed for other cities)
• Hoover's (a Dun & Bradstreet directory of companies)
• Global Trademark Research International Trademark Association (INTA), one-stop resource for worldwide trademark law
•
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Calculators and converters


• Calculators and converters for algebra, statistics, geometry, calculus, day/​date, units, physics, chemistry, weather, colors, etc. (Easy Calculation.com)
• Measuring Worth (this website, created by economists Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, offers a number of calculators using different methods for measuring worth (annualized growth, relative values, conversion, purchasing power, savings growth, inflation rates, stock growth rates --DJIA, SP500, & NASDAQ). Descriptive material gives the pros and cons of these methods using examples ranging from the cost of Big Ben to the cost of putting a man on the moon.
• Current value of old money (run by Roy Davies of the University of Exeter, this site links to a number of sites that show or calculate changes in the links to inflation statistics, price indexes, and sources of data on changes in the value of money)
• Inflation Calculator (CPI, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
• How Much Is That? (Economic History Services). Interactive tool for scholars in economic history to compare prices, purchasing power, earnings, GDP, interest rates, exchange rates and other economic variables, from the 1600s on--to convert past values into current values (and vice versa).
• Convert.me, online conversion tables (convert units of mass and weight, distance and length, capacity and volume, area, temperature, weight to volume, cooking, fuel, power, torque, etc.)
• XE Currency Converter (live rates--today's value)
• Oanda currency converter (FX currency converter for 164 currencies)
• Martindale's Online Center for Calculators (calculators, applets, spreadsheets, and more, including courses, lectures, manuals, handbooks, videos, simulations, and animations)
• Amortization Schedule Calculator
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Calendars and calender converters


• Calendar Zone (art, celestial, cultural, daily, event, geographic, historic, holidays, interactive, reference, reform, religious, software, traditional, Web, women)
• TimeandDate.com (world clock, time zones, stop watch, etc.)
• Hebcal Jewish Calendar (useful if you need to schedule around Jewish holidays)
• Virtual Perpetual Calendar.net (calendar for any year from 19th C. on, with dates for holidays in U.S. and Canada for 1995-2010)
• Calendar Converter (Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Persian, Mayan, Bahแ'ํ, Indian Civil, French Republican, ISO-8601, Unix, Excel Serial Day Number)
• Calendars Through the Ages (history exhibit, about calendars over time and efforts to organize our life according to sun and stars).
• Day of the Week Calculator (Ancestor Search)
• Carlos Barrios's excellent explanation of Mayan calendar (the world will not end).
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Consumer ratings, reviews, and complaints


• Angie's List (reviewed here, given an A rating in NY Times). Paid subscription. No anonymous reviews.
• Better Business Bureau (BBB)
• Complaints.com
• Consumer Reports
• Planet Feedback
• The Squeaky Wheel . Your complaint goes on a website and every day someone views the website the person you are complaining about is notified.
• Yelp (mostly bars, restaurants)
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Charitable organizations, rated


• Charity Navigator rates 3,600 charities with one to four stars, rating them on organizational efficiency provides free financial evaluations of America's charities, rating them on organizational efficiency and organizational capacity.
• Guidestar. Donors, grantmakers, and businesses can use Guidestar's database of 1.8 million nonprofit reports.
• American Institute of Philanthropy, a nonprofit charity watchdog, rates nonprofits with a letter grade (A to F).
• Forbes's list of America's 200 Largest Charities. Forbes lists American's largest charities (by donations) and America's most efficient charities.
• Evaluating Charities Not Currently Rated by Charity Navigator. One helpful tool is the Foundation Center's 990 Finder.
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Editing Wikipedia


Under Wikipedia's rules--learn them before you contribute--secondary sources must support an article.
• Wikipedia (The "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" -- being voluntary, it is not always correct. It is not peer-reviewed, but it often provides a useful overview on a subject, and sources through which to learn more.)
• All the News That’s Fit to Print Out (Jonathan Dee, NY Times Magazine, 7-1-07) How Wikipedia editing is managed.
• Wikipedia Training
• Help: Wikipedia: The Missing Manual
• Art of GLAM-wiki:The Basics of Sharing Cultural Knowledge on Wikipedia (by Sara Snyder, working at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 4-25-13)
• The 'Undue Weight' of Truth on Wikipedia (Timothy Messer-Kruse, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2-12-12). An "expert" on a historical trial gets his edits rejected because his is a minority view. Explained one Wikipedia editor: "Wikipedia is not 'truth,' Wikipedia is 'verifiability' of reliable sources. Hence, if most secondary sources which are taken as reliable happen to repeat a flawed account or description of something, Wikipedia will echo that." ..."familiarize yourself with some of Wikipedia's policies, such as verifiability and undue weight. If all historians save one say that the sky was green in 1888, our policies require that we write 'Most historians write that the sky was green, but one says the sky was blue.' ... As individual editors, we're not in the business of weighing claims, just reporting what reliable sources write."
• Paid advocacy as a conflict of interest (Wikipedia entry). See also
• Click capitalism: PR firms cash in cleaning up clients’ Wikipedia pages (Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, 10-21-13). This is not the first time that PR professionals have been accused of abusing the voluntary, self-policing character of Wikipedia to try to make clients’ pages more favorable, nor the first time false user accounts have been exposed.
• Wikipedia Probes Suspicious Promotional Articles (Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ, 10-21-13) The editors behind Wikipedia are accusing a set of contributors of manipulating the content of the community-generated encyclopedia on an unprecedented scale. The public relations firm Wiki-PR says what is was doing is paid editing, which is acceptable, not paid advocacy, which is against Wikipedia rules.
• Women scientists, Wikipedia under microscope in RI (WHEC, News 10, Providence, RI, 10-16-13) A Wikipedia "edit-a-thon" was organized to rectify the rarity of women scientists on Wikipedia (as in life). "Sara Hartse and Jacqueline Gu, both Brown freshmen and computer science students, said they first became aware of gender inequity on Wikipedia during an uproar in the spring when someone began systematically moving female novelists including Harper Lee and Ann Rice off the 'American Novelists' page and onto the 'American Women Novelists' subcategory."
• Wikipedia editors, locked in battle with PR firm, delete 250 accounts (Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 10-21-13) Investigation follows reports that Wiki-PR scored Viacom, Priceline as clients.
• A Stand Against Wikipedia (Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Education, 1-26-07) Wikipedia has value, leading students to citable sources, but is not itself a citable source. Too often students cite inaccurate information from Wikipedia articles.
• The Decline of Wikipedia (Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review, 10-22-13) "The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking.'
• Wikipedians Leave Cyberspace, Meet in Egypt (James Gleick, WSJ, 8-8-08) In Alexandria, Egypt, 650 Devotees Bemoan Vandals, Debate Rules; Deletionists vs. Inclusionists
• Wikimania (Wikipedia -- an annual international conference for users of the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki projects (such as Wikipedia and its sister projects)
• Can Automated Editorial Tools Help Wikipedia's Declining Volunteer Workforce? (MIT Technology Review, 10-31-13) An algorithm that assesses the quality of Wikipedia articles could re-assure visitors and help focus editors on entries that need improving, say the computer scientists who developed it.
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How things work
(a/​k/​a How stuff works)


• How Things Work (ipl2, Special Collections, a librarian's excellent guide to sites that will answer some of those big questions)
• How Stuff Works (this home page doesn't convey how helpful stuff on this site can be, so here are a couple examples):
• How House Construction Works (Marshall Brain, HowStuffWorks). Excellent explanations and good illustrations.
• How Internet Infrastructure Works (Jeff Tyson, HowStuffWorks)
• How Stuff Works (YouTube)
• How Stuff Works (the book) by Marshall Brain (from the great website)
• Explain That Stuff!
• How Things Work (Scientific American)
• How Everything Works (explaining the physics of everyday life)
• Ask the Experts (Scientific American)
• The Astronomy Cafe
• Computers and How They Work (Alton C. Crews Middle School)
• How does the Internet work? (Dynamic Web Solutions. explaining tbhings like transport protocol)

• Refrigerator FAQs (RefrigeratorPro.com)
• Toasters: The Inside Story (The Toaster Museum Foundation)
• Mad Scientists Network
BOOKS:
• How Things Work Encyclopedia (a great gift book from DK)
• How Things Work: 100 Ways Parents and Kids Can Share the Secrets of Technology by Neil Ardley (a guide to the world of machines and technology, packed with hundreds of hands-on experiments for the whole family, using everyday materials).
• How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life by Louis A. Bloomfield
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Quotations, famous sayings, anecdotes, bits of wisdom


(many consider "quotes" in the sense of "quotations" poor usage)

• Quote Investigator (Garson O’Toole diligently seeks the truth: Who really said what?--excellent for checking attributions). Tweets at https:/​/​twitter.com/​QuoteResearch. A good example--who said, "Writing is easy; you just open a vein and bleed."
• Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (searchable quotations from the original Bartlett, on Bartleby, plus other Bartleby-scanned collections of quotations and aphorisms)
• Bible Gateway
• BrainyQuote
• For the Speechwriters Reference Shelf (a booklist of quotations anthologies, compiled by Pat McNees and Joan Detz, on Washington Speechwriters Roundtable)
• Idea Bank (for quotations, anecdotes, humor, historical tidbits and other material to jazz up speeches)
• Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages (classified subjectively, arranged alphabetically, by Robert Christy, on Bartleby)
• 2InspireDaily -- Inspirational and motivational quotations
• Quotations Home Page
• Quotations Page
• The Quote Garden
• Quote Investigator
• Quotations about Science (The Quotation Page)
• ThinkExist.com
• Top Bible Verses
• Verse (Bartleby's searchable classic anthologies)
• Yahoo Quotations (by categories)
• William Cronon's Favorite Quotations
• Quotations About History (collected by Ferenc Szasz of the University of New Mexico, on William Cronon's website)
• Wikiquotes (quotes in many languages)

USEFUL BOOKS OF QUOTATIONS
• The Yale Book of Quotations, ed. Fred Schapiro
• Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, ed. Elizabeth Knowles
• Bartlett's Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett, ed. Justin Kaplan (A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature)
• The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women, ed. Rosalie Maggio (many missing from Bartlett!)
• The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When by Ralph Keyes

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Accents, symbols, scripts, diacritical marks (how to type on computer)
• Keyboard Help (with foreign language characters, diacritics, accent marks, for Windows, Macs, etc.), including Alt Key Codes or Alt numbers, so you can memorize codes for frequently used symbols -- e.g., ALT + 0224 = เ, ALT + 0225 = แ, or the Control key codes for Windows
• Accents (character codes for accents in online copy, on the helpful PennState website on Computing with Accents, Symbols & Foreign Scripts), which includes Accent codes for the Mac. Check the Straight Dope message board I Recently Found the 'Character Map' on My Computer, and Just Have to Try It Out!

American Folklife Center (online archive of webcasts of concerts, lectures, symposia from 2000 on)

American National Biography Online (ANB). Your library may have this important reference.

Association of Independent Information Professionals (aiip) (an industry association for owners of independent information businesses -- hire them to do various kinds of searches for you)


Daily life in history
• Old disease names (Sylvain Cazelet)]

Religion, resources on
• Bible Gateway (searchable Bible, with translations available in several languages)
• Biblos.com, site for Bible studies, with atlases and maps, concordances, Bible timeline, parallel texts, lists of names, thesaurus, chronologies, story lists, translations, and more.
• The Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent)
•
•
•
•

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Directory of thousands of open access, peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly journals (which do not charge readers or their institutions for access), with link to journals' websites.


EurekAlert, sponsored by AAAS, the science society, as a way to disseminate info through reporters to the public. There's a public section, a reporters section, and an embargoed news section (for research appearing in peer-reviewed journals). News is filtered by subject: Agriculture (crops, food, forestry...), Archaelogy (new world, old world), Atmospheric Science (climate, pollution...), Business & Economics (health care, grants...), Chemistry & Physics (energy, atoms, superconductors...), Earth Science (geology, oceanography...), Education (science literacy, K-12, graduate...), Mathematics (models, systems, chaos...), Medicine & Health (cancer, diet, drugs...), Policy & Ethics (patients, treaties, laws...), Social & Behavior (addiction, parenting, mental health...), Space & Planetary (astronomy, comets, space missions...), Technology & Engineering (electronics, Internet, nanotechnology...). And various portals: News for Kids, Marine Science, Nanotechnology, Disease in the Developing World, Bioinformatics, Multi-Language.... And there is a Calendar of events in science (by month).

Family history and genealogical resources (timelines, archives, genealogical links, etc.)


Getty Digital Collections

Getty Photo Archive

Getty Vocabularies (structured vocabularies on specific topics related to art and architecture)
• The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)ฎ (terms, descriptions, and other information for generic concepts related to art and architecture)
• The Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) ™ (a new vocabulary now accepting contributions, includes titles, attributions, and other information for art and architecture)
• The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)ฎ (names, descriptions, and other information for places important to art and architecture)
• The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)ฎ (names, biographies, and other information about artists and architects)


<

Learning to Do Historical Research: A Primer for Environmental Historians and Others . William Cronon surveys essential stages of the research process and different kinds of documents that can offer information and insights about the past

Musings About Librarianship (interesting and cool ideas librarians might use)

NIH Research. NIH RePORTer (NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting), a searchable database on federally funded biomedical research projects and programs. News updates here. (Formerly CRISP)

People finders:
• MelissaDATA
• Pipl
• 123People
• Person Locators (National Agricultural Library Links)
• Finding People (via The Virtual Chase) (Shirl Kennedy, senior editor of ResourceShelf, offers tips and links to help track down certain types of people)
NY Times Cybernavigator to telephone & email directories


Place Finders. Software for locating old place names. Linda Coffin of HistoryCrafters (www.historycrafters.com) recommends two simple pieces of software, Animap and SiteFinder, put out by Goldbug software (www.goldbug.com), which work with a database of thousands of U.S. names for towns, counties, churches, schools, cemeteries, parks, railroads, townships, etc. Today they help you find not only current place names but also names from old records and databases that are no longer found in current maps and gazetteers.

Pronunciation Guides
• Pronunciation Guide for Plant Names in Latin (it's CLE muh tis, not Cle MAH tis, for clematis)
• Forvo (pronunciation in many foreign languages)
• VOA's guide to pronouncing names and places (especially those tough foreign names you see in newspapers)
• Oxford pronunciation guide (gives both British and North American pronunciations)
• Encyclopedia Mythica (the names of the ancient gods and goddesses -- for English speakers)
• Biblical words (Net Ministries)
To find pronunciation of words in foreign languages, do a search for, say, "pronunciation in German"

SCOTUSblog (Supreme Court of the United States)--absolutely the best interpretations of what is going on in the Supreme Court. Here, for example, are stories about the decision onthe Affordable Care Act (Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius)

Social Bookmarking (a way to organize and store bookmarks to online resources)
• List of sSocial bookmarking (Wikipedia)
• Top 15 Most Popular Book Marketing Sites (e.g., August 2012: Twitter, digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, deLicio.us, tweetmeme, Fark, Slashdot, friendfeed, clipmarks, newsvine.com, Diigo, DZone, Chime.in--as tallied by eBiz/​MBA)

Social Networking
• List of Niche Social Networking Groups and Websites (Research Analyst, Hub Pages)
• List of social networking websites (Wikipedia)
• Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites (eBiz/​MBA)

Time.
• Time of day. U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock hotline (with various ways of translating it into your time, U.S. time)
• Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2012
• Official U.S. time (NIST and USNO)
• World Clock (Timeanddate.com, current times around the world, by time zones)


whatamieating.com (a searchable online international food dictionary)



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CHECK OUT HOAXES, URBAN LEGENDS, AND SCAMS

Several websites are devoted to fact-checking and identifying hoaxes and urban legends. Before you forward that "true fact," e-mail petition, warning, amazing opportunity, or piece of gossip, run it by one of these sites. To check out accuracy in media reports, go to Regret the Error (http:/​/​www.regrettheerror.com/​) as well as the "Accuracy in Media" sites it links to.
• Snopes.com (a practical Internet reference source for detecting urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation)
• Charity Navigator (find out if a charity or charitable request is legitimate)
• Quatloos (check out financial scams and fraud)
• Sree's tips on hoaxes
• Current hoaxes and legends (About.com)
• Hoax Busters (verify virus hoaxes, chain e-mails and urban myths)
• How to Determine If A Controversial Statement Is Scientifically True (Alan Henry, Lifehacker, 6-20-12)
• Purportal (freely searchable database of scammy spams)
• The Red Tape Chronicles (Bob Sullivan, MSNBC, looks at Internet scams and consumer fraud)
• Consumerist (a consumer affairs blog, hosted by a division of Consumer Reports)
• Urban legends, fact-checking (Journalist's Toolbox, SPJ, excellent links)
• Symantec Threat Explorer (a comprehensive resource for daily, accurate and up-to-date information on the latest digital threats, risks and vulnerabilities)



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The following material was migrated here from the website of the late, great Sarah Wernick, by permission of her husband, Willie Lockeretz.

Emailed Virus Warnings and Petitions:
A Responsible Approach


Someone emails you a warning about a scary computer virus. Or you receive a petition for a worthy cause that urges you to sign at the bottom and pass it along to all your friends. Before you hit the “Forward” key, check it out – even if the mailing came from a trusted friend or expert.



Virus warnings


People who pass along emailed virus warnings mean well - but nearly all these warnings are hoaxes. At a minimum, they waste time and cause needless worry. But some of these hoaxes are as dangerous as viruses, because they direct people to delete files that are actually necessary parts of their computer's operating system.
Before you forward a warning to others, take a minute to verify it at one of the many reliable anti-virus sites online. If the warning is legitimate, include a documenting URL when you forward it. That way, people can rely upon your information. And if you learn that it's a hoax, discourage others from spreading it further: Copy the debunking URL and send it with a brief summary to the person who warned you and to everyone else who received the warning.

For reliable information about viruses warnings, see any of the following:

  • The Urban Legends Reference Pages – http:/​/​www.snopes.com – offer an extensive searchable archive with excellent information.

  • The urban legends page of About.com – http:/​/​urbanlegends.about.com– is
    an excellent resource for hoaxes and urban legends, with articles and extensive searchable archives.

  • The Department of Energy's Cyber Incident Response Capability (DOE CIRC) – http:/​/​www.doecirc.energy.gov/​– provides good articles and searching capability.

  • Another venerable Internet resource is Vmyths.com – http:/​/​www.vmyths.com– with reliable information on specific virus myths and urban legends, as well as useful general information.



Are You Infected?


The following two sites allow you to screen your computer viruses at no charge. If you're infected, they also provide free instructions or free programs for eliminating many viruses.

Petitions


Has this urgent appeal to save NPR turned up in your inbox?
On NPR's Morning Edition last week, Nina Totenberg said that if the Supreme Court supports Congress, it is in effect the end of the National Public Radio (NPR), NEA & the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). PBS, NPR and the arts are facing major cutbacks in funding....

The letter asks you to sign a petition and forward it to as many people as possible. Don't bother: This petition has been circulating since 1995, and it's hopelessly out of date, as NPR explains on their website.
This is just one example of a petition that’s either pointless or a hoax. Think about it: Everyone submits the same lists, so there are hundreds or even thousands of duplications. How can such petitions be credible? And signatures are lost if someone breaks the chain.

Can it hurt to pass along a petition, even if you’re not sure it’s for real? Yes – because it wastes people’s limited time and energy for activism. Better to focus our efforts where they can do some good.

Here are other options:
  • Send people to an online organization that is collecting signatures – or that facilitates more direct action, such as writing to members of Congress.

  • If you want to start your own petition or find one to sign – visit Petition Online (http:/​/​www.petitiononline.com). As they explain: “Unlike the various flaky email petitions that periodically wander around the Internet, with PetitionOnline there is exactly one authoritative master copy of your petition. Each signature and email address (always required, but optionally confidential) is logged for possible explicit or statistical validation. Duplicate signatures are automatically rejected, and each person who signs is automatically sent a confirming email message.”


by Sarah Wernick
Revised December 1, 2004.
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Websites, organizations, and other resources

A GREAT READ
Blog roll, too
and communities of book lovers
Best reads and most "discussable"
Fact-finding, fact-checking, conversion tables, and news and info resources
Recommended reading
long-form journalism, e-singles, online aggregators
BOOK AND MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
New, used, and rare books, Amazon.com and elsewhere
Blogs, social media, podcasts, ezines, survey tools and online games
How much to charge and so on (for creative entrepreneurs)
And finding freelance gigs
Blogs, video promotion, intelligent radio programs
See also Self-Publishing
Indie publishing, digital publishing, POD, how-to sources
Includes original text by Sarah Wernick
WRITERS AND CREATORS
Multimedia, cartoons, maps, charts and so on
Plus contests, other sources of funds for creators
Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing, training, and writing for government
Literary and commercial (including genre)
Writing, reporting, multimedia, equipment, software
Translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers
including academic writing
Groups for writers who specialize in animals, children's books, food, gardens, family history, resumes, sports, travel, Webwriting, and wine (etc.)
Writers on offices, standing desks, rejection, procrastination, and other features of the writing life
ETHICS, RIGHTS, AND OTHER ISSUES
Contracts, reversion of rights, Google Books settlement
Plus privacy, plagiarism, libel, media watchdogs, FOIA, protection for whistleblowers
EDITORS AND EDITING
And views on the author-editor relationship