Sometimes it's hard to decide what information to trust and to use.
Below are some simple, evidence-based strategies, for evaluating the credibility of sources as well as reading critically.
These strategies will help you look beyond surface features, and think more carefully about who is behind the source, what their purpose is, and how trustworthy and credible they are.
SIFT is a helpful acronym for initially evaluating source credibility. It stands for:
There are numerous ways to "SIFT." These "four moves" from Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers will help you "SIFT."
When you first come across a web source, do a quick initial assessment, much like a fact-checker does. Fact-checkers don't spend too much time on a website; instead they quickly leave that site to see what others have said about the site.
(Adapted from “Four Moves,” Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Mike Caulfield)
This guide is adapted, with gratitude, from Rowan University's Evaluating Online Sources: A Toolkit