With over a billion active websites on the internet today and more than 300 million of them being blogs, there is an overwhelming amount of content on the internet. To stand out from this crowd and even have a chance of building an audience of your own, your content needs to provide the best possible value and grab the attention of anyone who visits your site.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of resources, examples, tutorials and video content on your sites. For content creators and bloggers in the business or information space, it’s extremely important to make sure your content is updated and accurate with the latest information.
This is where proper citation and resources come in handy.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best ways to find information online, reliable sources and also where not go. By the end of this article, you should have enough resources to make sure your next data driven article or report is updated and backed up with reliable sources to impress all audiences.
Why You Shouldn’t Source Wikipedia
Wikipedia is one of the largest information and resource sites on the internet today… however, it’s not the most accurate. For the most part, Wikipedia is all user-generated content, which means it can be created, updated and modified at any time. It doesn’t take much to get credentials to this site, which means citing them as a reliable source might not only make your information correct, it can make your site or brand look foolish in the process.
All is not lost when using Wikipedia however. If you are in need of a quick reference or citation, don’t forget that Wikipedia provides such citations as well. Wikipedia is a great resource for information, but if you are going to cite them, make sure the information on their site has also been cited as well.
Scientific and Medical Research
When you think about the number of sites creating content on a daily basis, it’s quite amazing. Whether it’s for marketing a product or simply to back up a statement being made, one of the most sought after areas for such information and citations is in the scientific and medical space. This industry applies to everything from weight loss, health, medical, electronics and much more. With so much money riding on the line for many of these products, services and brands in this space, having the most accurate and latest information is key.
Businesses like Dove Press, make the process of finding updated information and breaking news in the scientific and medical research space quite easy. While the option is always there to go to a news site or organization directly for information, you may be sifting through information for hours. Sites live Dove Press cover a wide range of topics and news sources, which makes it easy to find and cite what you are looking for.
In addition to their main site, you can follow Dove Medical Press on Twitter, as they often update their Twitter feed with numerous articles throughout the day.
Social Media (Twitter and Facebook)
Speaking of social media… with over 2 billion users spread across the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, this can be one of the most valuable assets for bloggers and content creators. However, just because social media provides you with instant access to billions of users and endless information, it doesn’t mean what they are saying is correct.
When looking at social media for resources and citable information, please remember the following:
- Always double check any resources or sites recommended by someone you don’t know
- Instead of copy and pasting a Tweet from someone else, copy the full URL to show the actual tweet within your content
- Social media tweets are notoriously known for link bait and false headlines. Don’t fall into this trap and look like a fool in the process
Another quick tip for finding resources and information on social media (mainly Twitter and Facebook), is to use hashtags and the search boxes features. Millions of status updates are going live every second, these are two of the best ways to weed out the most targeted results and content.
Go Straight to the Source and Ask
We covered three of the great examples of how to get quality information from various sites and resources across the internet, but if you want to get the most accurate and reliable information possible… there is still one more option — which is to go directly to the source.
Depending on the size of your website and the brand or expert you are trying to get a hold of, this might be easier than said to accomplish.
However, everyone is always looking for some extra exposure and getting the most accurate information out there is something everyone wants. This is why newspaper and TV reporters are always on a never-ending mission to get straight to the top.
With all of that being said, not only has the internet made it easier to find information online, it’s also made it easier to get in touch with people as well. If you are writing a new content piece and including details stats or information on something, it’s a great idea to try and contact an expert in your space to get their thoughts. Not only will this bring authority to your site and content, it will further back up your message and information in the process.
Why Quality References and Citations are Key
As mentioned earlier, there is way too much information on the internet today. It’s simply way too easy to type something out, publish and simply run with it.
I think the Dilbert comic strip below sums this up nicely.
In short, if you are going to put in the time and effort to create high-quality content on your site, be sure to spend an extra few minutes to back it up with the necessary citations, references, and quotes as well.