Anthropology Magazine

Writer Guide for Annotated Drafts

Writer Guide for Annotated Drafts

In order to streamline the fact-checking process, SAPIENS requests annotated drafts of articles from both its academic and journalist authors. Annotations are essentially citations for our fact-checkers. We prefer to receive annotations within comment bubbles or as footnotes, and we will request the annotated draft during the editing process. (We typically ask for an annotated draft after most of the structural edits are finalized, midway through our editorial process; however, if it is easier for you to include annotations from the start, please feel free to, but note that the annotations will need to be updated as the draft evolves.)

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, please provide a PDF as a link or an attachment, or send it using Dropbox. Journalists should also list the full name and credentials of each source, along with a direct phone number and an email address.

Annotations may include:

  • Supporting materials for any claims or factual statements that need to be confirmed by the factchecker (e.g., ages, names, dates, quotes, numbers, process details, and other similar content)
  • A PDF or link to a primary source that provides the information you are using
  • For journalists: a clear link from quoted or paraphrased statements to the source

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, reviews, or meta-analyses
  • Fact sheets from credible primary sources
  • Audio or video clips • Official transcripts of materials
  • Direct, authoritative accounts and information (such as ethnographic research or for journalists, first-person reporting and phone interviews)

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 scan 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 of our material is factually accurate. It also keeps you—and us—from getting in personal or legal trouble!