Lateral reading is searching for information about a source while reading it. The concept originated out of research from the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) under Sam Wineburg, the founder and executive director and is used by professional fact checkers.
This video from the Stanford History Education Group explains it well.
Credible: Trustworthy, reliable.
Credible sources are generally understood to be accurate and reliable sources of information, free from unfair bias.
Quiz: Who do you think would be best at discovering whether or not something from the internet is credible?
A college student
A university professor
A professional fact-checker
In a 2017 study about evaluating online information, two researchers sought to answer this question. They found that while most college students grew up using the internet and faculty members were experts in their fields, professional fact checkers were able to analyze the credibility of an online resource with greater accuracy and more speed. That is because, unlike the students and professors, they utilized lateral reading.
Lateral Reading in Action (video):
The short video from the Stanford History Education Group illustrates the importance of click restraint and why you shouldn’t assume that the first search results are necessarily the most reliable or relevant ones.
Use the criteria below to help you evaluate a source. Keep in mind: