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Facts on the Internet

A bit off topic, but … maybe not….

  • Familiar (Mis)Quotation, by Hollis Robbins, Inside Higher Ed. (April 8, 2011)

    Every academic by now knows the routine. You come across a pithy quote by a famous author that doesn’t sound quite right. No source text is given. A general web search yields ten pages of links to self-help sites or quote-a-day webpages. A Google Books or Google Scholar search will offer links to published self-help books or articles going back to the 1980s. None of the sites will offer a full citation or even gesture toward a source text. You sadly conclude that the quote is bogus. Such is academic life in the age of the search engine.

  • Have You Hugged a Fact Checker Today?, By Andrew Furman, Chronicle of Higher Education “The Chronicle Review,” (April 3, 2011) [subscription required].

    A talented, trained fleet of fact checkers has probably never been more crucial to our writing and reading culture than it is now, in our post-James Frey, Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, and Margaret B. Jones era, in our Internet age so drenched with specious information that it sometimes pollutes even our best intentions.

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