I thought I’d check out Journalist’s Resource, a project of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, since it was named (with 25 others) “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013” by the American Library Association. I was not disappointed. While the site is for practitioners, it is rich in research, research journalists need on the topics they are reporting on. By extension, non-journalists interested in wading deeper into an issue are welcome as well:
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. …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.
I was wondering this very question posed in the FAQ: Can I suggest a study? “Definitely. If you know of scholarly material that meets our research criteria, send it to… Also, if you feel that material that we’ve included doesn’t meet these standards or if better research on a similar topic is available, feedback is always appreciated.”