SIFT & PICK Fact Checking & Source Evaluation
The SIFT* & PICK approach to evaluating sources adapts and builds on Mike Caulfield's SIFT method to help students select quality sources by practicing:
- Lateral Reading (SIFT): fact-checking by examining other sources and internet fact-checking tools; and
- Vertical Reading (PICK): examining the source itself to decide whether it is the best choice for their needs.
After learning the SIFT & PICK Fact Checking & Source Evaluation process, students will be better able to:
- Distinguish between lateral and vertical reading strategies for source evaluation
- Use lateral reading strategies to fact-check information
- Use vertical reading strategies to select the most appropriate sources for their particular needs
- Consider how a particular source relates to a body of knowledge on a topic
Information Literacy concepts:
Individual or Group:
At Santa Barbara City College, we use SIFT & PICK in many instructional materials (e.g. research guides and Canvas modules) and guide students through this fact checking and source evaluation process in instruction interactions (research workshops, at the reference desk, in our Library 101 course, etc.).
When teaching the SIFT & PICK Fact Checking & Source Evaluation process, we emphasize the need for both fact checking (SIFT) and critical thinking in regard to selecting which source(s) to use (PICK). When we use SIFT & PICK in research workshops, we choose which concepts and/or ACRL Frames to emphasize based on the course assignment and/or goals of the workshop.