When you seek and find sources of information, determining whether it is evidence-based requires you to never assume its validity at face value, but rather to learn a set of strategies you can employ to effectively verify that your sources are reliable and trustworthy. Professional fact-checkers employ various strategies to analyze sources. Fact-checking has been referenced as a form of "information hygiene" (Mike Caulfield, Research Scientist, Center for an Informed Public), that when employed, it can minimize the spread of mis- and disinformation.
Caulfield has synthesized a range of fact-checking strategies into a four-step process, know as the SIFT method outlined below.
SIFT information on this guide was adapted from Caulfield's materials with a CC BY 4.0 license. For more detail on the SIFT Method and helpful videos, click on these listed links that take you directly to the section from the CC source: Introduction to College Research Copyright © by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Online Verification Skills – Video 2: Investigate the Source. YouTube, uploaded by CTRL-F, 29 June 2018.
Hover Skills - Caulfield's (February 16, 2020) Let's hover! - how to investigate online sources using actual examples
Online Verification Skills – Video 3: Find the Original Source. YouTube, uploaded by CTRL-F, 25 May 2018.