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The Sift Method for Evaluating Information


S.I.F.T: Evaluate Information in a Digital World

Fact Check your Feed

  • Stop
    • Do you know the website or source of information? Start with a plan. Check your bearings and consider what you want to know and your purpose. Usually, a quick check is enough. Sometimes you'll want a deep investigation to verify all claims made and check all the sources.
  • Investigate the Source
    • Know the expertise and agenda of your source so you can interpret it. Look up your source in Wikipedia. Consider what other sites say about your source. A fact checking site may help. Read carefully and consider while you click. Open multiple tabs.
  • Find trusted coverage
    • Find trusted reporting or analysis, look for the best information on a topic, or scan multiple sources to see what consensus is. Find something more in-depth and read about more viewpoints. Look beyond the first few results, use Ctrl + F, and consider the URL. Even if you don't agree with the consensus, it will help you investigate further.
  • Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context
    • Trace claims, quotes and media back to the source. What was clipped out of a story/photo/video and what happened before or after? When you read the research paper mentioned in a news story, was it accurately reported? Find the original source to see the context, so you can decide if the version you have is accurately presented.


Contact me with questions: Annie Z-K

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Finding Books in SuperSearch

To find all books, check off the eBooks and Books options in the Source Types filter on the left side of the SuperSearch results page.

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

Use the Title Search to find a book whose title you know. The tages underneath each result can tell you whether the book is avaiable electronically or on the shelf in the library.

Finding Book Reviews in SuperSearch

Scroll to the Source Types filter in SuperSearch. In the filter, choose Reviews.

Finding Journal Articles in SuperSearch

On the SuperSearch search results page, scroll down until you locate the Source Types filter on the left. Click on the both next to Academic Journals to limit your search results to journal articles.

Limiting to Peer Reviewed Articles in SuperSearch

Click on the box next to the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed Journals)" filter on the left side of the SuperSearch results page.

Subject Searching in the Library Catalog

You can browse the catalog by selecting "Browse Alphabetically: By Topic" and searching for a keyword. Then choose a topic, either more narrow or broad, from the results list, to find other works on that subject.

Items from a search will also have subjects linked in the description, once you click on the title. This is called the "detailed record" of an item. Click on the left-most subject term to browse that, or the right-most term to browse the whole string of terms together.

You can also search, instead of browse, for subjects. In a subject search, choosing the most specific subject, which is the term on the far right, results in a narrower search.


Subject Searching in SuperSearch

On the SuperSearch results page, browse the subjects below each results or in the Subject filter on the left to learn more about the topic. You can see more options by clicking "Show More" on the left. You can search or browse for subjects of your choice.

Filters/Limiters in SuperSearch

SuperSearch has filters, or what it calls limiters, on the left-hand side of the results page, that can narrow your search results.