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Bias, Fake News, Hoaxes, & Lies

Strategies and guidelines for detecting bias, lies, fake news, misinformation, propaganda. Don't be fooled!

Think Tanks & Research Institutes

What is a Think Tank?

Think tanks are private or publicly funded organizations that conduct research, usually in well defined topic or subject areas, which are often defined by or limited by the donor or founder. Think tanks often host archives of their research reports on their web sites, and these can be a rich source of useful and relevant information for students. However, just as in every other human endeavor, there can be sources of error or bias.

Credo Reference contains a wealth of background information on think tanks, including what they are, their role in American politics and policy development, and more.


Think Tank Search and Discovery

Just as with anything else, your first step is finding a think tank or research institute that will address the topics you want. There are many ways to identify appropriate institutions:

Think Tank Search Engine  Think Tank Search searches the websites of institutions that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. These sites are affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, and non-governmental organizations.

Think Tanks and NGOs. List of non-profit research institutes and NGOs around the world.

Wikipedia. List of think tanks from around the world. Like all Wikipedia entries, this one is subject to change!

Liberal, Centrist, or Conservative?

"Slant" or Point of View

Many think tanks try to be non-partisan, or centrist - their research and reports present information that is neither liberal or conservative but shows both sides of an issue.  Other think tanks tend to focus on issues or take positions that align more closely to either a liberal or conservative point of view.  That doesn't mean you need to avoid research from an organization that has a particular slant, as long as you are aware of it and take that bias into consideration when doing your research. 

Liberal Think Tanks:

Centrist, Bipartisan, or Nonpartisan