SIFT is an evaluation strategy developed by digital literacy expert Michael Caulfield (Washington State University Vancouver) to help you judge whether or online content can be trusted for credible and reliable information. The SIFT strategy is quick, simple, and can be applied to various kinds of online content: social media posts, memes, statistics, videos, images, news articles, scholarly articles, etc.
SIFT stands for:
INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE
FIND BETTER COVERAGE
TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, AND MEDIA BACK TO THEIR ORIGINAL CONTEXT
SIFT is an additional set of skills to build on “checklist” approaches to evaluating online content.
Some checklist questions you might ask yourself when initially arriving at a webpage:
In today’s world, asking yourself these kinds of questions is no longer enough. Why?
This video (4:27) provides a brief overview of SIFT.
Article: Don't Go Down the Rabbit Hole
Note: This SIFT method guide was adapted from Michael Caulfield's "Check, Please!" course. The canonical version of this course exists at http://lessons.checkplease.cc. The text and media of this site, where possible, is released into the CC-BY, and free for reuse and revision. We ask people copying this course to leave this note intact, so that students and teachers can find their way back to the original (periodically updated) version if necessary. We also ask librarians and reporters to consider linking to the canonical version.
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