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It's always a good idea to evaluate online sources before using them for research. Here's how you know HowStuffWorks is reliable as a secondary source:
- Approach: We strive to write and edit articles without being influenced by our personal biases. That said, science, verifiable data, peer-reviewed study and expert sources are at the heart of our work. In other words, while we value unbiased content, doing so doesn't extend to creating a false equivalence between perspectives that can be verified and ones that can't.
- Longevity: Our site was launched in 1998.
- Transparency in authorship: Nearly all our articles have bylines, and we explain how to cite the articles that don't have a byline because of their age.
- Transparency in the age of the articles: You can see when each article was published (along with other citation information) by clicking the “citation and date” icon.
- Transparency in the sources we use: Each new article we have written and published for the last 10 years includes a complete list of all sources that were used in the creation of that article. We rely on primary sources for our research as much as possible, and when primary sources are not available, we evaluate our secondary sources for their quality and reliability before using them.
- Reputation: HowStuffWorks has won numerous awards for the quality of our work.
- Selection criteria for freelance writers: We stringently evaluate all potential freelance writers before we begin working with them. You can learn more about what we expect of our freelance writers at our Writing for HowStuffWorks page.
If you are looking for information about a specific author, try our About the Author page. Or, click the byline of the article you're reading.
However, if your instructor requires you to use primary sources for your project, HowStuffWorks is not generally considered a primary source. The only exception would be articles, videos or podcasts in which we interview an expert about their work.
Please email us if you have a correction suggestion. Even if it's just a typo on a page or a broken link, we definitely want to hear about it so we can fix it. Please be sure to tell us which article, video or podcast you're correcting. Unfortunately, we can't always reply to correction suggestions.
You can email us here with suggestions. Please note that we currently have a five-mile-long list of article ideas and that many factors go into deciding what kinds of articles to write.
While we appreciate our readers' suggestions, we receive hundreds of messages per week. Depending on the demands of our schedule, it may also be many weeks (or even more!) before a suggestion makes it onto the site. For these reasons, we can't let people know when articles they have suggested have been published.
No, we do not accept or publish unsolicited articles or other content.
I am a student and would like to use one of your articles in my research project. Can I have your permission to do so?
We are happy to grant permission to use our material for noncommercial, nonprofit, educational purposes. We ask that you not alter the images or content from the way they appear on our site, and that you cite HowStuffWorks as your source.
See our Citing HowStuffWorks page for details.
Please click "Citation & Date" at the bottom of the article page you'd like to reference.
I would like to use your graphics or animations in my school presentation. Can you send me a high-quality version?
Due to time constraints and the number of requests we get, we can't email out our graphics or animation files for school projects. Contact us if you're asking for commercial or business use.
Please visit our Contact Us page and select "Ask for reprint permission" to discuss the use of HowStuffWorks content.
No, the content on HowStuffWorks belongs to us and is protected by copyright. Unauthorized use of content and images is prohibited and punishable by law.
Yes, and thank you for linking to us!
We're always exploring the possibility of translating the site into other languages. However, we are not currently granting permission for others to translate and reprint the site themselves.
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