"Student Studying" by UBC Learning Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

“Student Studying” by UBC Learning Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Methods

We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, as much as possible. The following explains how we select, research, write, edit, publish, and correct our fact-checked claim articles. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check, as well as requests for corrections.

Claim selection and research methods

FactCheckNI began as a project to encourage civic activism, and thus our topics of interest include the economy, education, elections, Europe (and Brexit), health, immigration, law, and the outworkings of the peace process.

Claims that are researched by FactCheckNI are done so only with publicly available sources. In order for FactCheckNI to research a claim, the claim must be:

  • a statement made in public, which can be attributed to a specific person (e.g. a politician or campaigner) or organisation (e.g. a report)
  • an assertion or allegation that can be validated or refuted (to a degree)
  • based on past or present actions (i.e. not speculative about the future)

Where possible, we will attempt to contact the person/organisation who made the claim, to verify the accuracy of the original statement. We will investigate any sources that the claimant provides.

In our research, we are aware of the variable standards of quality, and we will verify the methodology applied. For example, information provided by a statutory statistical agency may take less time to validate than a dial-in telephone survey to a radio programme.

We seek out sources of evidence that could contradict our developed conclusion, and we provide source links to all cited evidence that supports as well as refutes the claim.

We double-check a fact-checked claim with at least two people before publishing.

In all our published articles, we will write in the style of research discovery, whereby a reader can follow our investigation and double-check our source links.

While we will publish an overall summary of our findings about the claim, readers are free to draw their own conclusions, whether in agreement or not with ours, and whether with or without the evidence that we provide.

Corrections

We welcome submission of further evidence, post-publication of any FactCheckNI article, whether it validates or refutes our conclusion. Where a correction to our article is required, we will do so with transparency. An updated article will be annotated as such at its header, with a description of the amendment in its footer.

New claims

New claims and information can be sent to us at: info@factcheckni.org

We cannot promise to check every claim suggested to us, but we promise to read all. It helps if you provide as much information as possible, such as date, source, and any particular reason why you’re skeptical of the claim. While we will acknowledge receipt of your claim, we may not be able to reply how far we process it.