Looking for sources? Finding experts in a particular field is a good place to start for many stories. GIJN took a look at various guides to expert sources. After cutting those that are outdated, too specialized, or tools of the PR industry, we found a handful worth consulting. Here are six services with functioning, reliable databases used by journalists searching for expert sources.
Global Experts, developed by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, is a database of academics, analysts, former officials, faith leaders, civil society activists, private sector/business and media experts around the world. Reporters can search by subject area, geographic expertise, field of work, language and expert’s location to generate a list of journalistically vetted sources, according to the website. Professional bios, photos and contact emails are provided.
Expertise Finder, created by a former journalist and a software engineer, allows reporters to find experts by area of expertise. The search engine generates a list of vetted sources from accredited U.S. and Canadian universities and reputable think tanks. Source pages provide a list of expertise areas, professional bios, and contact information. The service is free and the company reportedly generates revenue by building custom expert directories for universities and colleges.
SheSource, a project of the non-profit Women’s Media Center, is a database of 1,100 vetted female experts on diverse topics around the world, searchable by name, keyword and area of expertise. Source bios and photos are provided and experts can be contacted through a form on the website.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is owned by Cision, a Chicago-based media intelligence company, and is a free subscription service that allows professional reporters from non-subscription based outlets to submit a query explaining their story synopsis, requirements, and deadline. The query is reviewed by HARO editors and sent via email to registered sources and/or their media reps. Interested sources then pitch the querying journalist, who can choose to remain anonymous. According to the company, 35,000 journalists and 475,000 sources are registered with the service. contact emails are provided.
Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic are databases that provide researchers with a comprehensive list of published academic work and its authors by subject search. Results can be prioritized by date and amount of citations to help identify the most relevant academic experts. Some expert pages include bios, publications, affiliations, areas of study, co-authors and links to author websites, as available. Some work is accessible through links or PDF attachments. Google Scholar also has an email alert function, which can notify journalists of new academic publications in their subject area.
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