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Source Evaluation Techniques: SIFT

STOP - investigate - find - trace


These 4 moves developed by Mike Caulfield will help you evaluate any web source.

STOP - Do you know this website or the source of the information, and what the reputation of both the claim and the site? If not, to to the next move.

INVESTIGATE the source - you want to know what you’re reading before you read it.

FIND better coverage - When you care about the claim the article is making, ignore the source itself, and look for trusted reporting or analysis on the claim.

TRACE claims, quotes, and media back to the original context - Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context. Trace the claim, quote, or media back to the source, so you can see it in it’s original context and get a sense if the version you saw was accurately presented.


Butler, W. D., Sargent, A., & Smith, K. (n.d.). The SIFT method. Retrieved January 5, 2022, from

Sifting Through the Pandemic. (n.d.). Sifting Through the Pandemic. Retrieved January 5, 2022, from



SIFT infographic

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