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WRI 1100: Barnes

S.I.F.T. - Evaluate Your Sources

Evaluating the information you come across is vitally important, whether for academic or personal purposes. Your life might depend on it.

S.I.F.T.,  a method developed by Mike Caulfield, provides 4 moves (things to do) to determine how good your source is.

STOP - pause and ask yourself if you recognize the source of the information or if you know anything about what the source is claiming.

  • Ask yourself if you recognize the source of information
  • do you know anything about the claim
  • does it make sense

Investigate the source - take a few minutes to see if you can figure out where the information in the sources comes from. In other words, is an expert providing the information.

  • Do a search using DuckDuckGo to find out stuff about the author(s) of the resource. 
  • Use Wikipedia to find out information about the source. Try it with this link: 

  • Click on the link.
  • go to the end of the URL and erase the url so you see leave a space and then type the word wikipedia
  • it should look like this wikipedia Read the Wikipedia description about Pew Research.
  • Is the source on the list of trusted news sites? 

Find better or other information - what are other sources saying about the information? Try some of these options:

  • try some reputable fact checking sites to see if the information you found is legit, or not
  • Google the author's name and follow any leads you find.
  • Use Google Scholar to see what their publishing record is
    • ask yourself whether they are an expert on your topic

Trace back to the source to see the original contexttry to find the original source of the information you found. Use trusted sources to examine the claims made in things you find on the web.

Check out the short videos in the boxes below for how S.I.F.T. works.


Investigate the Source

Investigate the Source

The videos below show you how to investigate the source of information

Find Better or Other Information

The video below shows you how to check the expertise or reputation of an organization or person

Trace Claims to the Original Source

Trace Claims to the Original Source

The videos below show you how to trace a claim back to the original source of information