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Source Evaluation Techniques: SIFT

SIFT Method

The SIFT Method is particularly useful for evaluating information found online. It asks you to: 

  • STOP
    • Acknowledge your emotional reaction to the content.
    • Identify any claims being made. 
  • INVESTIGATE the Source
    • Who created it?
    • Why did they create it? 
  • FIND Better Coverage
    • Better coverage could include a more accurate, reliable, or comprehensive source or a perspective omitted from the original source you looked at. Sometimes you have to wait for better coverage. (For example, sometimes reporting on an event that is released some time after an event may provide useful context or perspectives not available while news is breaking.)
    • Sometimes better coverage does not exist. Regardless, it is always useful to consider what that coverage could look like and search for it before deciding to use a source. 
  • TRACE Quotes, Claims, and Media to the Original Context
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Follow hyperlinks and other citations to their original context. Consider what types of sources are cited, whether those sources are accurately represented, and whether the evidence genuinely supports the argument being made. 

SIFT Method

SIFT Tutorials