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Evaluating Sources of Information

How to check for consensus

Checking for consensus involves seeing if there are other sources agreeing and backing up the claims your source making. If you are finding other sources are providing conflicting information or you can't find another source on the topic, this may be a red flag about the reliability of your source.

Search Tip: Do a search to check to see what other sources are saying and providing as evidence. Don't just look at the first source that shows up on your result list.

Example

The source to investigate

This story from Health and Money News falsely claimed the COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in women.

Action: Open a new tab

To check for consensus, do a search for "covid vaccine infertility" to check and see what other sources say about this claim.

From that search, there were dozens of other sources contradicting the Health and Money News story, proving that COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility. Some of the authoritative sources from the list disproving the original source's claim include:

  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Boston University
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine