13 April 2020 Blogs, Academic, Community College, Librarian

Sound Sources for Coronavirus Information

One of the most important things we can all do during times of uncertainty is to seek out reliable sources of information

There are so few things we can control about the current global Coronavirus pandemic, but one thing that is firmly within our control is the choice to stay informed by selecting sound sources.

One of the best sources about the international situation is published by the Johns Hopkins University. Their global map breaks out the number of confirmed cases by country and includes the number of deaths and the number of recovered individuals as well. It is updated multiple times each day and relies on information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and national health departments, and media reports.

You can click on red dots on the map to pull up all country-specific information. The CDC compiles information about cases in the United States and updates it daily on its COVID-19 website. That page also has links to a wide range of related information, including a breakdown of hospitalizations by age group in the weekly COVIDView report.

Finally, there is a very engaging social distancing scoreboard created by Unacast, a private company, that rates the performance of each county in the United States on the key indicator of reducing non-essential travel. What grade does your community get? As you consider other potential sources of information, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you to evaluate the reliability of the site, publication, or source:

    • What is the source of this information? Where does it come from? What is the track record of this source for providing reliable information in the past?
    • How current is the information being presented? Is it out of date? What has happened since this article or item was written?
    • Is the information being presented factual or opinion? Does the writer have an agenda or point of view that they are promoting through this article or site?
    • Who pays for the creation and maintenance of the site or publication? How do they support themselves? Could those relationships affect the information presented?
    • Are multiple views or sources of information presented by the site or publication? Are differing credible perspectives given equal attention and respectful treatment?

All of us on the ProQuest team are continuing to work through the crisis to ensure that our products meet the needs of our customers and to provide the best possible information to support learning at every level. You can count on us for reliable information today and every day.

Rose Likins