Fighting Fake News with Research Evidence

January 26, 2018 Dawn Peters


We live in a time of great discovery in science, medicine and technology. Yet, never before has there been such a trashing of the truth in the news. We are all witness to the unprecedented conception of fake news that seeks to undermine progress, deter attention from important issues, and intentionally mislead the public. What’s more, when misinformation is spread, it negatively impacts the reputation of research and scholarship in your field.

By working together—publishers, scholarly societies, the media—we can fight fake news with fact-based evidence, while generating public awareness of the importance of science and fostering greater trust and understanding around science.

As an associate partner of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ)—a non-profit organization with more than 50 member associations, representing 10,000 journalists from around the world—Wiley is delivering on its promise to societies to expand the reach and impact of sound research, science, and scholarship in every field. Through this partnership WFSJ journalists have complimentary access to Wiley Online Library (WOL), supporting their news stories with the latest scientific evidence published in its hosted journals.

Giving the media greater access to research helps to create connections between researchers, journalists, and ultimately, the general public. In fact, a recent Reader’s Digest article of the best sources of health news on the web cites a number of our publishing partners as trusted sources of information for people trying to maintain healthy lifestyles, understand a medical diagnosis or discover the latest treatment options.

Without access to authoritative research sources, journalists may also be more likely to cite evidence published in journals which are highly accessible but lack proper peer review, retraction policies, and reliable archiving. According to a Newsweek article, there are thousands of predatory science journals where profits, as opposed to sound science, are the driving force.

At times it seems like fake news may win the day given the constant barrage of suspect headlines. However, there is hope in combating fiction with facts. If researchers, publishers and media work together to advance sound scientific knowledge, we can impact the spread of false information by improving access to creditable research and help educate the public to advocate for better health, preservation of natural resources, and social justice for all.

Image Credit: legenda/Shutterstock

About the Author

Senior Manager, Global Communications, Wiley //

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