Evaluating Resources

SIFT Method of Evaluating Resources

SIFT is a series of actions you can take to determine the validity and reliability of claims and sources on the web. SIFT is an additional set of skills to build on checklist approaches to evaluating online content.

The SIFT method, or strategy, is quick, simple, and can be applied to various kinds of online content: news articles, scholarly articles, social media posts, videos, images, etc.

Each letter in SIFT corresponds to one of the Four Moves:

Four elements of SIFT

Modified from Mike Caulfield's SIFT (Four Moves), which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

SIFT flowchart

SIFT Quick Video Tutorials (Mike Caulfield)

Ask yourself whether you know and trust the website or source of the information.
Feel yourself getting overwhelmed in your fact-checking efforts? STOP and take a second to remind yourself what your goal is.
Knowing the expertise and agenda of the source is crucial to your interpretation of what they say.
Add a Google News or Google Scholar search.
Search news databases for relevant stories. Try Google News and US Newsstream, a library database of national and regional newspapers.
Use known fact-checking sites.
Use reverse image searching to find relevant sources on an image.

Find the original source