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SIFT Class Handout

The acronym SIFT with a decorative graphic for each letter. Also reads out the phrase for each acronym.

Digital versions of the in class handout. You can use this handout to quickly reference the four moves of SIFT and corresponding actions you can take.

The following links will be used for our in class activity; you are welcome to open them on your own computer to follow along.

Places to Find Better Coverage

The following organizations are generally regarded as reputable fact checking organizations that cover some science content in the media. This short list is pulled from a list in Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers (the list can be found at this link:

Not all of these sites cover science only; many of them focus on political news. However, as chemistry topics are often mentioned in political discourse, these sites are still worth investigating. 

These sites also might not have the information you're looking for.  However they are a great starting point. Make sure that you're not doing work someone has already done! 

You can also look to see if the event or claim has been reported in a news source that has a verification process in place. Below are several news (not all!) sources that are considered a "newspaper of record" and have a rigorous and accountable editorial process and have a national view of the news.

You can also search in library databases to access certain newspapers:

If you want to do a deep dive into what makes a trustworthy news source, you can read more about the qualities are involved in a trustworthy News Source.

Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

All the material from class today was built on the work done by Mike Caulfield at Washington State University. This textbook is free and online, and is actually full of a lot of good examples for fact-checking what you encounter. If you have the time, I encourage you to read more of it. 

Scholarly versus popular

Faculty often tell students to use scholarly (or academic) sources rather than popular ones. This distinction applies most often to the use of articles found in journals, periodicals, and magazines. Many of the same distinctions apply to books. The author’s credentials, the writing style, the presence (or lack) of footnotes, and the type of publisher (university press or mass-market publishing house) should all be looked at when evaluating the quality of a particular book. 


Understanding the Peer Review Process

What is peer review? How do articles get peer reviewd? Why is peer reveiw important? 
Watch this short video from NC State University Libraries on the peer review process:
Peer Review in Three Minutes