Answered By Library Staff Last Updated: Sep 01, 2023 Views: 45
The SIFT Method stands for:
INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE
FIND BETTER COVERAGE
TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, AND MEDIA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT
Librarians are starting to recommend this method to students and researchers over the previous "CRAAP Test" for evaluating sources.
View this tab of the Media Literacy guide to learn more about the SIFT method!
SIFT offers major improvements over CRAAP in speed, simplicity, and applicability to a wider scope of print and online publications, platforms, and purposes. Recently, researchers have identified the benefits of using this approach, and, in particular, the lateral reading strategies it incorporates. SIFT encourages students to base evaluation on cues that go beyond the intrinsic qualities of the article and to use comparisons across media sources to understand the trustworthiness of an article. This is what Justin Reich,11 Director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, noted in a 2020 Project Information Literacy (PIL) interview, calling SIFT a useful “first step,” since it may assist students in acquiring the background knowledge they need to evaluate the next piece of information they encounter on the topic.
Crucially, SIFT also includes the context of the information needed as part of evaluation – some situations require a higher level of verification than others. The actions SIFT recommends are more closely aligned with the kind of checking students are already using to detect bias and decide what to believe and how researchers themselves judge the quality of information. And while it is much better suited to today’s context, where misinformation abounds and algorithms proliferate, SIFT is still based on students encountering individual information objects, without necessarily understanding them as part of a system.
Learn about lateral reading in this video: