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Evaluate Sources & Identify Fake News

How to evaluate information sources and identify fake news

Starting with Evaluation Methods

The brief guide below includes two approaches that will help you get started with information sources evaluation. Both of them are described in more detail in Sources for Academic Research and Online Sources & Claims sections of this guide.


We would suggest you to start with the left column (based on the “Evaluating Sources” created by Ithaca College Library) when you work with information sources for your academic and reserch needs and go to the right column (based on Mike Caulfield's SIFT (Four Moves)) for information sources you engage with in your daily lives, as this is more appropriate for popurlar web sources circulated for the general public.



Understanding Source Types

 Information comes from many different types of sources. Tweets, Facebook posts, Youtube videos, articles on newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals, books, academic books and encyclopeadias are just some of them. Every type of source has its own characteristics, purpose and way of presenting information.


It is very imporant to understand source types to be able to select the most apporiates according to your need and determine the accuracy of the information presented.


The Know your sources: a guide to understanding sources created by Portland Community College Library is a great infographic on the six key factors of what to consider when selecting a source. These are:

  1. Frequency of Publication
  2. Review Process
  3. Authors Education
  4. Number of Sources Consulted
  5. Lengthy (Average Number of Words per Source)
  6. Background Knowledge Required

Click on the below image or here to see this infographic.