Quackcheck’s goal is to help readers quickly identify how reliable an article’s contents are by looking at its sources. To this end, a scoring and grading mechanism has been designed to give users this information at a quick glance.
This scoring mechanism works by examining the quality of the reference links from each article via two broad measures: number of references, and diversity of sources.
Number of References
The more references there are, the more sources of information the author has to rely on to make the arguments that they do in the article. Including references shows an author’s attention to detail, and ability to rely on supporting evidence to further their perspectives. Citing credible sources to support an argument can also provide credibility to the author’s conclusions.
Of course, references are not always of a high quality – but in general, having some references is always better than having none.
Diversity of Sources
Citing references from a good diversity of sources demonstrate that an author has considered multiple points of view, and has done a reasonable amount of research and legwork. This means that there is a higher chance that the contents of the article might be better researched.
Also, a higher diversity of sources also means a lower probability that an article is part of a link farm.
Our metrics take into account the two broad measures above, to arrive at a final estimated score to act as a useful guide to help you decide on the reliability of a source.
There are some caveats to how the score works, to find out more read here.