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Very astute, especially the library reference idea. In the same vein:

- Avoid news brought up by social networks - people like and share what's emotionally engaging, so the story writers have a very strong incentive to embellish. Majority of the "news" on social media is either bogus or empty.

- Major newspapers check credentials of their guest authors. Those guest articles aren't always correct, but signal/noise is way higher.

- Articles in peer-review journals are usually right, especially the bigger journals with more eyes on them.

- Approaching a librarian is not as hard as it may seem. Here's UW. for example: http://www.lib.washington.edu/about/contact

- Apparently there's a "24/7 Reference Cooperative", a nation-wide librarian Q&A service: http://wiki.questionpoint.org/w/page/13839418/24%207%20Coop%...

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