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Facts and Definitions: Home


CREDO assists with preliminary research by searching in hundreds of reliable encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, quotation databases, and subject-specific reference monograph titles, as well as over 200,000 images and audio files and nearly 100 videos. Use this tool to discover reliable facts, definitions, and data that can be used in papers and to support research positions.

Fact Checking

Be a critical thinker; compare and contrast multiple sources to obtain a balanced perspective, and know the validity of your sources.

The following tools will help you uncover fake news. "Alternative facts" is simply a euphemism for misinformation and lies.

Use the following resources to review the accuracy of public statements made by politicians:

Mike Caulfield. Web literacy for student fact checkers...and other people who care about facts. Self-published.

Example of an intentionally misleading platform with a mixture of certified expert opinions and widely disproved theories:

PragerU, short for Prager University, is an American non-profit organization that creates videos on various political, economic and philosophical topics from an American conservative or right-wing perspective. The organization was co-founded by talk show host and writer Dennis Prager. The videos are posted on YouTube and usually feature a speaker who lectures for about five minutes. The organization relies on donations, and much of its early funding came from fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks.

Studies have shown there are a few tendencies that explain why people are susceptible to fake news:

  • People will use rationalization to support their desired view, 
  • People are lazy in using critical thinking to find an accurate perspective. 

"The more a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate the people who speak it." -- George Orwell

Central Index

   The new Alma book catalog platform includes the "Central Index" database that covers a wide range of materials including: book chapters, book reviews, historical newspapers, business and legal news, some reference book material (dictionary and encyclopedia entries), selected web resources (web pages, videos, and open access books and dissertations). 


Wikipedia provides crowdsourced information on many topics ... which can be a good source of common knowledge ... but one must be very careful to critiique the accuracy and reliability of such information. The other resources listed on this page have certified authority and accuracy.

Wolfram Alpha

The Wolfram Alpha search engine is primarily used to gather statistical or factual data. Example sections also provide overviews of disciplines ... with data and explanations of the underlying equations, principles, and conditions.

Data Sets

The Statistics page provides many resources for discovering data on the Internet, some from government agencies, some from international agencies, and data from other sources. In many cases these data sets must be imported (in some cases after format manipulation) into data tools such as SPSS and SAS. For additional information about Data support, see the Purdue University Data site.

The library also provides access to the SimplyAnalytics tool that allows researchers to mine U.S. census data and sets of business data in order to generate maps or build data sets that can be exported into other tools such as Excel, SPSS, and SAS for further manipulation. See our short videos showing mapping and ranking by a variable and finding various data sets.


Today In History

Today in History - see important events that occurred on this date.

History of Words

Use Ngram Viewer to map the use of words over time. You can even search into Google Books from this site.

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