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Evaluate Your Sources

Don't be caught using unreliable information. Learn to use the CRAAP Test to identify credible sources

The SIFT Method: Quick Source & Claim Checking

You do not have to be fooled!

The SIFT Method gives you a way Infographic "The SIFT method: Evaluate Information in a Digital World," Select the link below for a web accessible versionto check the claims made in your online sources and to investigate the origin of those claims so that you can feel confident sharing what you saw or feel confident using the source for your research assignment.

S.I.F.T. involves four simple moves (or things you do) when you're looking at a source. These moves will help you understand the necessary context to read, view, or listen to your online content effectively.


  • When you get to a new Webpage or document, STOP, and ask yourself whether you know the Website or source of the information.
  • What is the reputation of the claims being made, of the author making them, and of the Website itself?
  • Don't read or share information until you know what it is and where it came from.
  • Think about how you want to use this information. If you just want to read about an interesting concept it's probably enough to find out whether the source of the information is reputable. If, however, you want to use the information for research, you want to track down individual claims in the article or document and verify them for yourself!

Investigate the Source

  • Know the expertise and agenda of your source so you can interpret it and evaluate its trustworthiness.
  • Use Wikipedia or another fact checking site to see what other sites are saying about the claims being made and about the author or Website.
  • Read carefully and open multiple tabs as you investigate the source.

Find Better/Trusted Coverage

  • Verify, verify, verify.
  • When you need to know if a claim in your source is true or false, go outside of your source and scan multiple sources to see what the expert consensus seems to be.
  • Don't just believe something based on one article or document telling you it is so. You want to know what the general understanding is on the claim being made.
  • You don't need to agree with the consensus, but knowing the context and history of the claim will help you better evaluate it and form a starting point for further investigation.

Trace to the Original

  • You need to trace the claim, quote, or media in your source back to the original source so you can see it in its original context.
  • Seeing a claim, quote, or media in its original context will help you understand if the version you saw was accurately presented.

Text description of "SIFT: Evaluate Information in a Digital World" for web accessibility

Caulfield, Mike. "SIFT (The Four Moves)." Hapgood, 19 June, 2019, // .