Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank blog was created in 2013 to serve as a real-time platform dedicated to finding the news in the numbers and expanding on the Center’s unique brand of data journalism. We feature insightful data related to today’s news events from our own extensive research projects and also provide a platform to release new data on occasion. In addition, we write about new research done by our peers.
In general, we are interested in highlighting newly released research that fits into one of our broad thematic areas or sheds light on an important topic in national or international debate. All of this research must meet the high standards we set for our own work in terms of data quality. Primarily we are looking for three things: a rigorous methodology, full transparency and a lack of ideological bias.
In covering our peers’ research based on survey results, we presently focus on featuring work based on representative, probability-based samples, primarily because employing probability sampling allows researchers to project from the sample that was interviewed to the larger population being studied. There are cases, however, where we also may feature work that takes advantage of the accessibility and affordability of non-probability samples to conduct experiments whose validity is not reliant on a rigorous sampling methodology, and we will describe them as such.
Any work featured on the blog also must have a fully transparent methodology. Throughout our history, transparency has been a central part of our mission. This includes full disclosure of our methods, which gives readers a chance to evaluate our methodological decisions, and by extension the validity our findings, for themselves. For outside research being featured on the blog, we are looking for disclosure of the research sponsor and the individuals or institutions that conducted the research, as well as a clear methodology statement, and a questionnaire and topline data if the research is based on a survey.
Finally, the blog limits its purview to research that comes without an ideological point of view in its scope or execution. As a neutral source of data and analysis, Pew Research itself does not take policy positions.
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Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center’s mission is to generate a foundation of facts that can enrich the public dialogue and support sound decision-making. As a neutral source of data and analysis, Pew Research does not take policy positions.