January 25, 2018

Over the past few years, the hot takes have been endless.

Facts are dead. Fake news can sway election results. Echo chambers rule the internet.

The questions they’ve raised are important, but often divorced from the latest research. Thankfully, the spotlight on fact-checking and misinformation has resulted in an abundance of academic work on the field.

That’s why today, the International Fact-Checking Network is launching a research database containing a curated list of selected studies on fact-checking and misinformation. The feature includes information you’d expect from an academic search engine, but we’ve added brief summaries that will hopefully give a quick sense of what the real-life consequences of these findings might be.

The database does not include all studies in this field — by design. We are focusing on the research we think is most interesting and potentially useful for practitioners. Our aim is to help inform journalists in their coverage and fact-checkers in their work, not provide an exhaustive (and exhausting) bibliography.

Does fact-checking backfire? Unlikely.

Are corrections from friends more effective? Possibly yes, at least on Twitter.

How does partisanship affect fact check reception? Adversely.

What do we know about fact-checking and fake news on Facebook? Something, if not enough.

Last month, we soft-launched the database to surface any bugs and get feedback from some of the researchers whose work it features. We’ll be adding studies on a weekly basis so that it may serve as a living record of what academia tells us about online misinformation, fact-checking and how they interact with news consumers.

As such, the database is a constant work in progress. If you have questions or comments about its contents — or if you’d like to submit a publication for inclusion — feel free to reach out to us at factchecknet@poynter.org.

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Daniel Funke is a staff writer covering online misinformation for PolitiFact. He previously reported for Poynter as a fact-checking reporter and a Google News Lab…
Daniel Funke

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