To streamline the fact-checking process, SAPIENS requests annotated drafts of articles from authors. Annotations are essentially citations for our fact-checker. Annotations can be included as footnotes, comments, or if you would like to include the source as a link in your piece for readers, then place it on the appropriate anchor text. We typically ask for an annotated draft after most of the structural edits are finalized, midway through our editorial process; however, authors can always provide annotations earlier in the process.
If the fact in question is drawn from peer-reviewed research or from a reputable primary source, please include a URL to the source and its page or paragraph number; if the paper is behind a paywall or not available online, please provide a PDF as an attachment in an email or send it using Dropbox. If you are referencing a paragraph or section of a source and wish to send a screenshot/photo of that page/section as an attachment in an email, that’s fine too.
- Supporting materials for any claims or factual statements that need to be confirmed by the fact-checker (e.g., ages, names, dates, all quotes [except from author’s own interviews], numbers, process details, and other similar content)
- A PDF, link, or screenshot/photo of a primary source that provides the information you are using
Reliable Sources: While secondary sources can be a helpful jumping-off point for research, we request primary sources whenever possible to support any facts or statements. Primary sources do not include press releases or encyclopedia entries. Primary sources can come in the form of:
- Research studies (including ethnographic ones), reviews, or meta-analyses
- Fact sheets from credible primary sources
- Audio or video clips
- Official transcripts of materials
- Direct, authoritative insights based on the author’s own ethnographic research; please specify where the information is from in the text (interviews, observations, et cetera)
If No Primary Sources Are Available: We allow information from secondary sources only if it has been corroborated with various reputable sources. Reputable sources can be high-level websites (e.g., a government site) or trustworthy news outlets (e.g., NPR). Also note that Wikipedia and other encyclopedia links should never be relied upon as a direct source—such resources should only be used for background and context.
Think Like a Fact-Checker: Note that we do not require full, styled references (i.e., Author Name, Article Title, Journal Title, Volume, Issue, Pages, Date); rather, a URL will suffice. If you would like to reference a book or academic paper that lives behind a paywall, please attach a PDF of that document, or a screenshot of a page, so our fact-checker can read it.
Importance: These fact-checking resources will help streamline the editing and fact-checking process. In addition, they will aid us in ensuring that all our content is factually accurate and not plagiarized (including being self-plagiarized). It also keeps you—and us—from getting into personal or legal trouble!