Determining if resources are credible is challenging. Use the SIFT method to help you analyze information, especially various kinds of online content: social media posts, memes, statistics, videos, images, news articles, scholarly articles, etc.
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.
As the authors of the original version have not reviewed any other copy's modifications, the text of any site not arrived at through the above link should not be sourced to the original authors.
Step 1 - STOP!
Before you read the article or share your video, stop!
Step 2 - INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE
Two questions to keep in mind after you "Just add Wikipedia"
Step 3 - FIND BETTER COVERAGE
Sometimes, after you investigate the source, you'll find that the source is sufficient for your needs. However, this is not always the case. Maybe the quality of the source is low or it doesn’t adequately answer the questions you have.
This is when you would want to find better coverage.
Below is a video (4:28) explaining this process in more detail.
Search Strategy: Click Restraint - Fact-checkers scan multiple results to try and find the particular result that combines trustworthiness with relevance before they click, often visiting the subsequent pages of search results.
The video below (2:20) released by Stanford History Education Group shows how to find better information online.
Step 4 - TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, AND MEDIA BACK TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT
A lot of things you encounter online have been stripped of context. This could be due to inaccurate or misleading re-reporting, edited sound and video, images being shared with inaccurate captions, etc.
Below is a video (1:34) on finding the original source.
Here is a video (4:14) on finding original images and verifying caption claims.
"The oldest and largest fact-checking site, widely regarded by journalists and readers as an invaluable research companion."
Fact-checking journalism site. "Our core principles are independence, transparency, fairness, thorough reporting and clear writing."
“We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.”
"Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy."