About Journalist's Resource
Based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, the Journalist’s Resource project examines news topics through a research lens. We focus on surfacing scholarly materials that may be relevant to other media practitioners, bloggers, educators, students and general readers. The American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.”
Our database contains top research studies that we have selected and synthesized, as well as recommended results from a customized search across the wider Web, which we have designed to emphasize credible sources.
Search our library here on any topic.
We try to serve as a helpful guide and interpreter — think of us a friend who does close reading and translation of statistics and jargon. While we can’t provide access to the full text of every study, we try to provide at least a point of entry and some key, useful points.
We invite all those interested in policy and public affairs to use the site’s materials. No registration is required; the materials are free and are under a Creative Commons license. Our open-access project is designed to provide state-of-knowledge information on topics of public interest. In an era of information overload, we hope you’ll see us as a useful tool that condenses quality information from authoritative sources and presents it succinctly.
To understand the site’s basic goals and philosophy, we recommend that you read our primer: “Introduction to Studies and Academic Research: How It Works and Why Journalists Should Care.”
Establishing and promoting the concept of “knowledge-based reporting” animates the project; the philosophy is articulated in the new book Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism, by Tom Patterson, our research director. Many of the nation’s top journalism educators and thinkers have been promoting the idea of bringing journalism closer to the research world — both to meet the profession’s social mission and to ensure its high value in an increasingly crowded marketplace — and our site strives to provide a structure for accomplishing this. Our project has been partnering with the New York Times, for example, to help create more research-related resources for readers. We also actively foster the improvement of Wikipedia pages relating to policy topics.
See this for a little more on our philosophy:
The site is run by faculty, staff and graduate students at Harvard Kennedy School’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. In addition to providing access to scholarly reports and papers on a wide range of topics, it makes available syllabi for educators and skills-based reference material.
Our philosophy is that our database is always a work in progress, and we welcome new suggestions. (Email John_Wihbey at hks.harvard.edu.) To meet the standards of the Journalist’s Resource website, research must generally be:
- The product of authoritative institutions such as major U.S. universities, research organizations or governmental bodies.
- Based on rigorous research, without bias or ideological motivation.
- Published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The three chief sections of the site are as follows:
- The Studies section provide links to reliable, timely research in the categories of environment, economics, society, government, politics and international. Each study is accompanied by a brief overview summarizing its findings, teaching notes and links to other relevant material. Studies are selected by the Shorenstein Center research team, with tips and suggestions from a network of scholars and media members. To be included, research should be empirically based, peer-reviewed, published and the product of a major university, government body or nonpartisan research organization. See more on criteria for inclusion.
- The Reference section offers information on core journalism skills, including interviewing, style, ethics and more, as well as links to online tutorials. We also feature our own “research chat” interviews with leading journalists and scholars.
- The Syllabi section furnishes sample curricula on topics ranging from politics and health care to law and business. We include a mix of scholarship and journalistic readings in these units, and we encourage educators to review them and appropriate them as they see fit.
In terms of attributions, we encourage you to cite the academic/government/research institution from which the information originally comes and/or the scholarly journal named. All other material should be credited to Journalist’s Resource. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us.