What is all this?

So many newspaper articles are published with missing or vague references to their original sources.

Unsourced is a tool to help us all augment news articles with the stuff that they should be including but don't.


Without sources, it is very hard to gauge the accuracy of an article.

  • Does the journalist know the subject they are writing about?
  • Have the correct conclusions been drawn?
  • Did they even read the primary source, or are they relying on a press release?
  • Are they trying to hide that the research is unsound?
Without the source, there's no way to tell.

Or, as Ben Goldacre put it: "If you don't link to primary sources, you are dead to me"


We decided to focus on science articles to begin with. There are lots of examples of sloppy - or just plain wrong - science reporting, so it's an area that needs scrutiny.

It's also a nicely formal area, in that most science stories relate to the publication of peer-reviewed paper in a Journal, which can be tracked down.

The plan is to expand the set of tools to cover all sorts of things that might be sources for news stories - government reports, raw data, press releases, etc etc...

Why are there so many articles from the UK?

We use the article search at journalisted.com to find articles which look like they might need sourcing. Since journalisted has a particular focus on the UK media, so does this site.

However, you can manually enter any article you'd like, using this form.

Can I reuse your data?

The data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you'd like to reuse it, please attribute it to "unsourced.org contributors".

There isn't yet any comprehensive way of exporting the data. If you want it, let us know what sort of mechanism(s) you'd like to see.

Want to give us some help or feedback?

Great! The best starting point is the Media Standards Trust public development mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/mst-dev

You can subscribe via email by sending a message to: mst-dev+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Who's responsible?

It's a Media Standards Trust project.

Coding, design:
Ben Campbell
Original concept, design:
Martin Moore
Visual design and site layout:
Thanks muchly to:
Francis Irving
Michael Curran
Tom Scott - our warning labels use images and text from his original designs