Sourcebook source comparison

The following data covers all major sourcebooks from 2010-2011. All data is based on analysis of a randomly-selected sample of at least about 150 cards. Columns are organized in roughly decreasing order of credibility; the order of the graphs is alphabetical by sourcebook. (Note that "Other People" is an inclusive category with widely varying credibility.)

Disclaimer: Opinions vary on what constitutes a credible source; what is represented here is the opinion of the authors. You are, of course, welcome to hold your own opinions and analyse the data however you want, but don't complain to the authors that they got it all wrong. Thank you.


Major Orgs – Big, respected organizations like the World Health Organization or the National Academy of Sciences; indisputable sources (like quoting the actual treaty to back up what the treaty says); and (generally) government sources, like official press releases from the State Department.

Academics – Academic sources (individuals with PhDs, professors, and law and science journals)

Major News – Big, respected newspapers like the New York Times

Think Tanks – Policy analysis institutions like the Cato Institute or the Heritage Foundation

SIGs & Orgs – Special Interest Groups or advocacy organizations, like the International Anti-Nuclear Society

Other News – Miscellaneous minor (mostly online) news services, like Greenwire

Other People – Miscellaneous other people, like the CEO of Exxon Mobil or a patent attorney (varied)

Sources are placed in the highest applicable category – for example, someone with a PhD writing for the Heritage Foundation would be listed under "Academics", and someone with a think tank affiliation writing for a minor news source will be listed under "Think Tanks." Opinion pieces and editorials are evaluated by the author, not by the newspaper it appeared in.

Order COG 2016