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Library Skills Tutorial

Evaluating Your Sources

Good research isn't just about finding information. It's about critical thinking and evaluating what you've discovered.
Before you rely on an article you found for an assignment, you should make sure the information it contains is credible. Below you'll find lessons on two strategies, the CRAAP test and SIFT, to help you evaluate any information that you find. 

The CRAAP Test

SIFT: The Four Moves

Authority is a really important aspect of the CRAAP test to consider when evaluating online media. Many of the information sources that you encounter in daily life can be hard to gauge in terms of credibility. By investigating the source, or who originally created the content, you can piece together context and determine whether the information is trustworthy. 

SIFT (The Four Moves) offer four action-oriented strategies to apply when you’re considering a source:

  • Stop
  • Investigate the source
  • Find better coverage
  • Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context

The following videos will teach you how to do this, and why it's important:

Online Verification Skills - Video 1: Introductory Video

Online Verification Tools - Video 2: Investigating the Source

Online Verification Tools - Video 3: Find the Original Source


Investigating the authority of sources as well as looking for gaps in the information are critical steps in detecting misinformation online. 

Internet searches require investigation, too. Data voids, or information voids, happen when missing information is exploited or manipulated in order to lead people to misinformation about any given topic or news event. The search terms you use may be strategically selected, promoted, and used by supporters of a cause to lead you to fake or misleading information sources. Use the CRAAP test and SIFT in order to ensure the sources you use are credible.

Want to learn more about data voids? Check out: Data Voids: Where Missing Data Can Easily Be Exploited by Michael Golebiewski & danah boyd

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