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MAN 4120 (Spoolstra) - Leadership Challenges and Supervision: Evaluating Sources


SWIFT Steps for Internet Research

We all love to use the Internet, especially Google. It is easy to use, accessible, and provides a lot of results fairly quickly. Even though the Internet is resourceful, the way in which it functions requires you to evaluate what you have found. Due to the openness and the ease at which information can be shared, it is important to evaluate everything that you have found on the Internet especially if you are planning on using the information in a research or academic paper. Remember, anyone can publish information on the Internet.  When looking at a source yo can start the evaluation process by starting with SWIFT:

A list of the four moves described below


When you find a source that looks interesting, STOP. Ask yourself whether you know the website or source of the information, and what the reputation of both the claim and the website is. If you don’t have that information, move on to the next step to get a sense of what you’re looking at. 

Investigate the source

The idea here is that you want to know what you’re reading before you read it. Review the source of information for credibility and reliability. Is this source reputable for objectivity or is it known for propaganda or misinformation?

Find better coverage

Sometimes you don’t care about the particular article or video that reaches you. You are more concerned about the claim the article is making. You want to know if it is true or false. You want to know if it represents a consensus viewpoint, or if it is the subject of much disagreement.

In this case, your best strategy may be to ignore the source that reached you and look for trusted reporting or analysis on the claim. Can you find other sources that are more trusted, more in-depth, or maybe just more varied. 

Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context

Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context we do not always get the full story. It is important to trace the claim, quote, or media back to the source, so you can see it in its original context and get a sense if the version you saw was accurately presented.

The idea of SIFT comes from Mike Caulfield and is reused here under  a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License  Creative Commons License

Critical Thinking Guide

Critical Thinking Cheat Sheet

Google vs The Library

    Google vs the Library


The Library


  Free for you 

  Quick facts

​  Scholarly and peer-reviewed articles

  Current events​

  Authors are experts in their field​

  Everyday language​

  Detailed research studies

  Google Scholar​

  Current magazines, newspapers, and journals​


A great tool for evaluating sources is the CRAAP test.

Infographic for CRAAP Test - Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.


Let's play Fakeout!!

Fakeout an interactive lesson that tests your ability to detect evaluate sources and identify "fake news". 

To play Fakeout, follow this link. Play all the way through, and make sure to watch the videos in the middle.

When you are finished, simply close the page.


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