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SC 130-H1 Climate Science: Evaluating Sources

Using the SIFT Method to Fact Check the News


Learn to recognize misinformation using the SIFT assessment method developed by digital literacy expert Michael Caulfield, director of blended and online learning at Washington State University:

  • STOP and check for previous work: Look around to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research conducted.
  • INVESTIGATE by going upstream to the source: Go “upstream” to the source of the claim. Since most web content is not original, you should backtrack to the original source of the assertion to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
  • FIND better coverage by reading laterally: Once you get to the source of a claim (book, article, photo, etc.), read what trusted sources say about it. Look for consensus amongst these sources.
  • TRACE the claim. Circle back to the original source and assess its context.

Click here for a tutorial on using the SIFT method.

The Information Timeline

Media Literacy

Learning to create, assess and use various types of media is not just for the classroom, it's an everyday skill you'll use for life. Use the tools in our Media Literacy research guide to explore this topic in greater depth and build your knowledge!