Smith, Sarah Harrison

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Smith, Sarah Harrison

PERSONAL: Female. Education: Oxford University, B.A., Columbia University, M.A.

ADDRESSES: AgentNew York Times Magazine, 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036.

CAREER: Writer, researcher, and fact checker. New Yorker, New York, NY, former fact checker; New York Times Magazine, New York, NY, began as head of research/checking, managing editor, 2005–.


The Fact Checker's Bible: A Guide to Getting It Right, Anchor Books (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer, researcher, and professional fact-checker Sarah Harrison Smith was head of research and checking at the New York Times Magazine before becoming a managing editor there. Previously a fact checker at the New Yorker, she has made a career out of "getting it right" and finding the correct answers when she needs them.

With The Fact Checker's Bible: A Guide to Getting It Right, Smith offers a reference work for other word-wrights and editorial professionals who need to get the facts straight as quickly and efficiently as possible. In a book designed for practicing journalists, freelance writers, editors, and researchers, Harrison explains the intricacies and inside tricks of the craft of research and fact-checking. She encourages skeptical reading, the development of a sense of whether a written work is credible, persuasive, and factual. She describes the process of fact-checking at a number of prominent publications and offers a listing of reliable resources on a variety of general topics. Real-world examples illustrate the need for fact-checking, how to identify potential factual errors, and what resources to consult when scouring source material. Harrison also discusses issues of libel, plagiarism, outright fabrication, and malice as they apply to professional publishing and the duties of a fact checker. Library Journal contributor Ann Schade called The Fact Checker's Bible "invaluable" and "an excellent resource for researchers, writers, and fact checkers."



Library Journal, September 15, 2004, Ann Schade, review of The Fact Checker's Bible: A Guide to Getting It Right, p. 66.

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Smith, Sarah Harrison

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